HP Enterprise Boss ‘Reassigned’ By Whitman

Hewlett-Packard’s CEO Meg Whitman has reassigned Dave Donatelli, the man who oversees HP’s business group that includes servers, storage, networking and other data centre hardware.

Donatelli’s reassignment 21 August comes two months after Whitman removed Todd Bradley as head of HP’s PC and printing unit, and as Whitman announces the company’s latest quarterly financial numbers.

Executive Changes

News of the change was first reported by the news site AllThingsD, citing anonymous sources. That report said Donatelli’s reassignment would be officially announced during the conference call with analysts and journalists regarding the quarterly earnings, and that his replacement will be revealed at the same time.

In addition to Donatelli’s shift, HP also is reassigning its chief marketing officer, Marty Homlish, to another position within the company, AllThingsD reported.

According to sources, Whitman, who is trying to navigate a multi-year turnaround of the massive tech company, is looking for “new thinking” from top executives in HP.

Donatelli, as executive vice president and general manager of HP’s Enterprise Group, oversaw a $30 billion (£19.2bn) business that was created during a company-wide reorganisation last year, and includes enterprise hardware and technical services. The business competes with such heavyweights as IBM, Dell and Cisco Systems in an area of the industry that is undergoing rapid change brought on by such trends as cloud computing, bring-your-own-device (BYOD), mobility and big data.

Donatelli’s group in April launched the first of its Project Moonshot servers, which are small, highly energy-efficient systems designed for hyperscale and dense data centres.

In the second quarter, the business unit saw sales fall 10 percent from the same time last year, with all the business lines, except networking, losing revenues. Networking sales were up 1 percent, while x86-based server revenues fell 12 percent, high-end system revenues dropped 37 percent, storage fell 13 percent and technology services dropped 3 percent.

Smartphone Move?

Donatelli came to HP four years ago from storage giant EMC, and like Bradley had been seen as a possible CEO candidate during the several times in HP’s recent history when it was looking for a new chief executive.

Whitman is looking to turn HP around after several years of poor financial numbers, due in part to the sharp decline in PC sales worldwide and the instability in the CEO office that saw three chief executives in less than a two-year time span. Whitman has resisted calls for her to break up the company, saying HP is stronger because of its broad product offerings, and is looking to make the company a larger player in such growth areas as enterprise IT technology and mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones.

In October 2012, Whitman laid out a turnaround road map that will span four to five years, and said that plans being put in place wouldn’t begin to change the company’s faltering bottom line until 2014. Included in the strategy were more than 29,000 job cuts that will help the company realise $3.5 billion (£2.2bn) in cost savings, she said.

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Originally published on eWeek.

Jeffrey Burt

Jeffrey Burt is a senior editor for eWEEK and contributor to TechWeekEurope

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