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Microsoftie takes over HP's strategy

Veghte to keep Meg & Co 'on top'

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Bill Veghte, the former Microsoft hotshot that was brought in to run HP's small but important software business back in May 2010, has been named the company's chief strategy officer.

Veghte came to HP back when Mark Hurd was still boss – that was two CEOs ago – and kept his job when Hurd was ousted and replaced by former SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker. Veghte stayed right where he was when Meg Whitman, the former CEO from eBay and former California gubernatorial candidate, took the helm of HP after yet another management shakeup last September.

Shortly thereafter, Shane Robison, who was a chief techie at Apple, AT&T Labs, Compaq and then HP, left the company, which he joined as CTO when Compaq was eaten in 2000. No replacement was found for Robison at the time for the CTO job, and what we learned today is that there is not going to be one.

Instead, in addition to running HP's $3.6bn software unit and sorting out its webOS and cloud strategies, Veghte is now being tasked with the duties of strategy chief. The job description sounds a lot like CTO, with HP saying in a statement after Wall Street closed that Veghte will be working with senior business and technology leaders to "to help define the IT industry's future and make certain HP continues to lead the way."

Veghte is no stranger to leading. At Microsoft, he was responsible for the launches of Windows 98, Windows Server 2003, and did a lot of the work behind Windows 7. He also ran the Office product line in his two-decade stint at Microsoft.

"Every 10 to 15 years, fundamental shifts occur in the IT industry that redefine how technology is delivered," Whitman said in the statement. "From mainframes to client/server to the internet, companies that identified the opportunity first and developed the right strategy came out on top. As we move forward, HP intends to stay on top, and I believe Bill has the knowledge and vision to keep us there." ®

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