Meg Whitman to step down as CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise next year

22 Nov 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. Image: drserg/Shutterstock

Outgoing CEO Meg Whitman oversaw the split of HP into different companies and revival of shareholder value.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) CEO Meg Whitman has confirmed that she is stepping down from the role next year but plans to remain on the board of the tech giant.

Whitman, who became CEO in 2011, has presided over the execution of a major five-year turnaround strategy at Hewlett Packard (HP), which saw saw HP split into different, distinct companies: HP Inc and HPE.

She took the helm of HPE, the cloud and infrastructure business, while HP Inc drove the legacy printing and personal systems group.

Under her leadership, HPE rebuilt its balance sheet and became a much more streamlined and nimble entity.

Shareholder value has been regained to the tune of $18bn through share repurchases and dividends, and a total return of 89pc to shareholders was accomplished, three times that of the S&P 500 Index.

The rise of an industry icon

The current president of HPE, Antonio Neri, will replace Whitman as CEO effective 1 February 2018.

“I’m incredibly proud of all we’ve accomplished since I joined HP in 2011,” Whitman said in a statement.

“Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets.

“Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future.”

Whitman, a former candidate for the role of California governor, previously rose through the ranks of the technology industry to become CEO of eBay, enabling it to become the e-commerce powerhouse it is today. She was tipped for the role of Uber CEO but declined the opportunity.

When she took on HP in 2011, she discovered a company heavily in debt and missing its momentum. Today, the HP brand is an agile player focused on the pillars of hybrid IT, intelligent edge and the internet of things, and services.

As news of Whitman’s plans to step down from the CEO role emerged, the company reported fourth-quarter revenues of $7.8bn, and earnings of 31 cents per share, above analyst expectations.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. Image: drserg/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years