Feeds

HP taps software hot-shot to run enterprise hardware

Donatelli gets a 'special assignment' to find new tech

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Hewlett-Packard has had IBM envy for years now, and CEO Meg Whitman is following in the footsteps of Big Blue once again by putting a seasoned software executive in charge of hardware.

Concurrent with the announcement of its financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal 2013, HP announced that Dave Donatelli, who came to HP in 2009 from EMC to run its storage business and was elevated through several reorganizations to be put in charge of the entire Enterprise Group by Whitman, would be given another role at the company.

The Enterprise Group combines servers, storage, software, and networking into a single behemoth that represents about a quarter of the company's revenues and that is supposed to be a profit engine like printer ink. That was the idea when HP bought Compaq more than a decade ago, anyway.

Donatelli will be replaced by Bill Veghte, who was brought into HP in May 2010 from Microsoft to run its software business, was tapped by Whitman a little more than a year ago to be the company's chief operating officer and to run its cross-divisional cloud computing initiatives. Veghte was also previously chief strategy officer at HP.

The irony, of course, is that Veghte was at Microsoft for two decades and rose through the ranks to eventually be put in charge of the Windows business. Microsoft promised Veghte a "leadership role" at the company after a reorganization, which never materialized and hence he left.

It could be that Donatelli stays at HP, or that he looks for a CEO position at another IT company. HP said in a statement that Donatelli would stay on at HP to "focus on identifying early-stage companies with new technologies, similar to HP Moonshot and HP StoreOnce, which he brought to market" and to help find acquisitions, such as 3PAR in storage and 3Com in networking.

Donatelli will be trolling the venture capital firms for possible acquisitions, and will continue to report to Whitman in his new role, which does not yet have a title. All that Whitman said on the call with Wall Street analysts to go over the financials for fiscal Q3 was that Donatelli would be on a "special assignment."

HP said it has no plans to name a COO in the wake of the changes.

"Bill's vision for the future of IT, his breadth of experience in the industry and at HP, and his deep enterprise experience, make him the ideal candidate to help HP navigate a rapidly changing market," Whitman said in a statement.

"Dave succeeded in pioneering converged infrastructure, bridging servers, storage and networking. Looking forward, the software-defined data center and cloud computing offers us a great opportunity to extend HP's leadership in the technology infrastructure space."

HP's server and storage businesses have been struggling under intense competition in recent quarters, so an executive change is not at all surprising. Dell has been kicking HP pretty hard in servers, and EMC has been doing the same with storage arrays – at the same time that the HP-UX server business, once large and profitable, has been decimated by a shift away from Unix boxes in general and those based on Itanium processors in particular.

The company also elevated long-time Friend of Meg, Henry Gomez, who among other things managed public relations for Whitman's failed run for the governorship of California, to the position of chief marketing officer.

Gomez was tapped to run public relations for HP back in January 2012, and now marketing and communications for HP are consolidated under Gomez. Marty Homlish, who was CMO, has been given the role of chief customer experience officer. Both report to Whitman directly. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.