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HPE loses its cloud and storage heads: No Goel, Vrij packs up, Fink runs

Manish the man moves out with two other execs

What's going in HPE? It has lost a cloud boss, a storage boss and VP for Americas sales in one day, and set up a new cloud division in a focus-sharpening exercise.

Manish Goel, SVP and GM for HPE's storage business has gone. Bill Hilf, SVP and GM of HPE Cloud has gone.

Robert Vrij, sales managing director for the Americas has exited the party as well.

Earlier ths year HPE lost its CTO, Martin Fink, and Chief Customer Officer, John Hinshaw, and rounds of layoffs have been made as well as selling off the Enterprise Services division.

Antonio Neri, EVP and GM for HPE's enterprise group, announced the latest changes, saying "we need to continue to sharpen our focus and harness our strengths."

So: "We are moving our Helion OpenStack (HOS) and Helion CloudSystem teams to EG and [they] will become part of the newly created Software-Defined & Cloud Group (SDCG), led by Ric Lewis. ... As part of this transition, Bill Hilf will be leaving HPE to pursue other opportunities." Hilf lost out when the Helion public cloud was canned in October last year, and has now lost out again.

Neri has slimmed down the top of sales as well: "We are aligning our sales team into a single organization, led by Peter Ryan... Jim Merritt, who currently leads Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ), will lead the North America sales regions. Our current Managing Director of Americas Sales, Robert Vrij, will be leaving HPE at the end of the year. Phil Davis, currently head of Storage Sales in APJ, will now be responsible for sales in APJ."

We're told Manish Goel has decided to leave HPE to pursue other opportunities, and the now open Goel is filled by Bill Philbin. Who?

Philbin was a VP in HPE storage for Ibrix, LeftHand Networks and StoreOnce, meaning he looked after NAS, iSCSI and disk-to-disk backup products. He became acting GM of the storage business when David Scott left in February 2015. Goel was then recruited in March 2015 to run the storage business. Sixteen months later he is out, with Philbin, presumably, now an SVP and GM for storage.

During Goel's reign, storage business revenues declined in the third and fourth 2015 quarters, and the first 2016 quarter but rose in the second 2016 quarter. Third quarter revenues are due to be reported in the next few weeks.

The cloud changes can be seen as organisational slimming, with Hilf ejected because he was no longer needed with the Helion stuff moving into Neri's enterprise group. Goel's departure is different, there being no organisational structure changes as with cloud. It looks as if Neri decided Philbin could fill the storage boss slot.

Neri finishes up the announcement by saying: "This is an exciting time for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish next. I believe the best is yet to come." ®

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