HP Turns To Venture Capitalist To Head Up Software

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HP has hired a venture capitalist to take charge of all HP software, after the departure of Autonomy’s Dr Mike Lynch

Hewlett-Packard continues to shake up its leadership team, mostly in the software arena where hardware-focused HP sees good future potential.

The company announced 30 May that an HP outsider, venture capitalist and IBM veteran George Kadifa, has been appointed executive vice president of the company’s software business, a role he takes over from Bill Veghte, who held the job for only a week.

All Change

Veghte up until 23 May had been HP’s chief strategy officer, has been named the company’s chief operating officer and will continue to oversee corporate strategy.

Both job changes are effective immediately, HP said.

Only one week ago, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based corporation announced also that it had moved in Veghte to replace Mike Lynch, founder and president of Autonomy, the UK-based content management, search and storage software provider that HP bought in August 2011 for $10.3 billion (£6.6bn). Whoever runs Autonomy, ostensibly the most important software division in the company, runs HP’s software business.

Kadifa will run Autonomy along with the company’s other software groups, which put together comprise HP’s IT Performance Suite software portfolio. CEO Meg Whitman said on the 23 May earnings conference call that Autonomy hasn’t been performing as well as had been expected.

Kadifa, a 30-year veteran of the IT industry, will report to Whitman and join the HP executive council. He will be responsible for HP’s multibillion-dollar IT Performance Suite software portfolio, the company’s crown jewel software package. The ITPS enables enterprise IT organisations to manage and secure IT from applications to infrastructure in the cloud and on premise across platforms.

Former VC

Kadifa joins HP from Silver Lake, a global technology investment firm with more than $14 billion (£8.9bn) of assets under management, where he most recently served as operating partner for the Value Creation Team.

In that role, he was responsible for driving operational improvement and growth in a wide range of enterprises within the 24-company portfolio of the firm’s large-cap investment fund. Prior to that, he held executive positions at both IBM and Corio.

“George brings a wealth of experience gained at traditional software companies, service providers and startups,” said Whitman. “His ability to manage multiple business models will prove extremely valuable to HP as we extend our software offerings in cloud, information and security.”

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