HP confirms its mighty Köck is standing down

EMEA big boss retiring before firm gets stuck into the big split

Herbert Köck, HP’s joint big knob for EMEA and the region’s chief of the PC and print division, will be standing down from next month when the company splits operationally.

In an internal HP memo, seen by us, Dion Weisler, exec veep of Print and Personal Systems Group, confirmed the move:

With mixed emotions, I’d like to inform you that Herbert Köck has decided to retire at the end of this quarter [in August].

During his tenure, Herbert’s dedication to HP, especially his contributions in integrating and leading our EMEA printing and personal systems (PPS) have been critical.

Köck was previously confirmed as the new head of EMEA for HP Inc, the computing and print business that is set to break away from HP operationally in August.

He co-runs HP EMEA with Peter Ryan, who doubles up as the head of the Enterprise Group, the part of the company which will become Hewlett Packard Enterprise when HP legally splits into two separately traded Fortune 50 firms from the start of November.

The German national has run PPS EMEA since early 2013, replacing long standing veep Eric Cador – now at Lenovo.

He managed to maintain HP’s lead at the top of the local markets, something that has eluded the firm globally.

Waiting in the wings is seasoned exec Enrique Lores, currently senior veep and GM for biz PCs, who had been expected to become HP Inc lead for the solutions and services group.

He is well respected by some in the channel.

“With his 26-year tenure at HP, deep experience running highly complex businesses, knowledge of the European market and relationship with our customers, I’m confident that Enrique will be a catalyst for growth and accelerate out EMEA business," stated the memo from Weisler.

Lores picks up the baton in August, the start of HP’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, and continues to lead the Separation Management Office “through the planned separation”.

As a result, the solutions and services group will be combined with customer services, and Richard Bailey is the exec who will lead the unit for HP Inc.

In a rallying call to the troops, Weisler said this year has been “incredibly exciting and demanding, but we have to keep the pressure on."

"We have a month remaining in the current quarter, and only four months before the 1 November separation date," he thundered. "NOW is the time to be aggressive. We MUST deliver and execute on every front. We must exceed expectations at every turn, and refuse to lose. Accelerate. Do not give up and do NOT take NO for an answer."

HP’s revenues continue to slide but CEO Meg Whitman reckons that by splitting the business in two, it can be more focused on the two distinct markets the division’s serve, be more flexible in investments and restructuring, and reignite the sales engines.

This is the largest corporate bisection in tech history, so a parting of the ways is likely to be fraught with challenges. The Partner Navigator programme is designed to spot these potential snafus early on and address, to ensure the business doesn’t break down in the short term. ®

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