Neri gets the nod as Whitman moves on at HPE

Meg Whitman has called time on her stint as CEO at HPE with the veteran Antonio Neri getting the chance to make his mark on the firm

HPE partners waking to the news that the firm's CEO and president Meg Whitman is leaving the firm can find solace in the credentials of her replacement.

After a six year stint Whitman used the latest financial results update as the moment to reveal that from 1 February next year Antonio Neri, current president of HPE, will take over.

Neri is a HPE veteran and will enter the CEO hotseat with a firm grasp on the importance of the vendor's channel community.

“Antonio is an HPE veteran with a passion for the company’s customers, partners, employees and culture. He has worked at Meg’s side and is the right person to deliver on the vision the company has laid out," said Pat Russo, chairman of the HPE board of directors.

His 22 year career at the firm includes spells across the business including the HP printing business, personal systems, technology services and then in 2015 all of the enterprise group. In that role he oversaw the go-to-market strategy.

“HPE is in a tremendous position to win, and we remain focused on executing our strategy, driving our innovation agenda, and delivering the next wave of shareholder value," he said.

He became president of HPE this June and will take on a company that has gone through major changes under the leadership of Whitman.

Her six years have included the splitting of the HP and HPE business and a turnaround plan that also saw it sell and spin off the enterprise services and software businesses.

There had been growing expectations that Whitman might not stay at HPE after she was linked with the CEO vacancy earlier this year at Uber and because of her political ambitions in the US. She also chose to step down from the HP board earlier this summer, reducing her ties with that side of the business.

Speaking to analysts about the Q4 results Whitman talked about the highlights of her six years and pulled out her work with the channel as one of the achievements.

"We pivoted hard back towards partners, rebuilding our entire partner ecosystem and shifting resources to this critical go-to-market channel," she said.

Her recent focus has been on HPE Next, which has been about streamlining and simplifying the company, and she claimed that it had not caused any disruption during Q4.

"While executing HPE Next, we made sure to minimize disruption to the business and particularly our sales force. I am very pleased that we saw no disruption in Q4. In fact, HPE Next has galvanized the entire company around our vision to drive tremendous value for customers, partners and ultimately shareholders and all of this is being driven by the strong leadership team we have in place," she said.

In terms of the numbers the results for the vendor's Q4, for the three months ended 31 October, showed a 5% improvement in net revenue to $7.8bn.

Revenues from the enterprise group were flat at $6.9bn and financial services improved by 24% to $1bn.

Full year revenue numbers were slightly skewed by the contributions of business units that have since been sold off with $37.4bn enjoying $8.5bn from enterprise services and software, which will not feature next year.

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