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HPE loses second key exec in as many weeks

CTO Mark Potter to depart as re-shuffle connects boss Neri to product peeps

HPE has lost another key exec in just over a week with CTO Mark Potter handing in his notice amid a global reshuffle of senior leadership that was itself caused by the earlier exit of Phil Davis, the second-in-command.

Mark Potter, the company's chief techie and head of its R&D outfit, HP Labs, will 'retire' in the summer, according to a blog post from the company's chief exec, Antonio Neri. It is not clear if his retirement will be as short-lived as previous HPE CTO Martin Fink, who now has the same title at WD.

Before taking on the CTO job, Potter served as the general manager to several HP businsses across a decade, including its server and blade group. His role will be filled by Kumar Sreekanti, who will also become the company's new head of software. In addition, Pete Ungaro, who heads up the company's High Performance Computing and Mission Critical Solutions division, will also take on responsibility for HP Labs.

Potter's departure marks the second key executive to leave the company in quick succession. Late last month, Phil Davis, who ran the company's $23bn hybrid IT division and its global sales team, resigned from his post to take up a vacancy as head of AWS's Asia Pacific and Japan business.

Davis ran Hybrid IT, which accounted for around 80 per cent of HPE's global business. In addition, all country heads reported to Davis, who in turn reported to Neri, so his role carried weight across the organisation, perhaps too much weight for one person.

In the blog post, Neri said the restructuring is to adapt to the "the new world that is emerging" after the COVID-19 lockdowns. El Reg thinks the re-org has removed a layer of management - Davis.

Under the new arrangement, the heads of each of HPE's seven key businesses will report directly to Neri. These include:

  • Tom Black, head of HPE's storage portfolio
  • Pradeep Kumar, who leads the company's Pointnext Technology Services business
  • Neil MacDonald, head of HPE's compute business
  • Keerti Melkote, head of HPE's Intelligent Edge business, which includes Aruba
  • Irv Rothman, head of HPE Financial Services
  • Pete Ungaro, aforementioned head of HPC and MSC , including Cray
  • Keith White, head of the company's new GreenLake Cloud Service business

HPE has seemingly been restructuring ever since Meg Whitman's HPE Next initiative in 2017, which preceded her exit by just a few months.

Her successor Neri has pushed to make available all the company's products as a service through a subscription model by 2022.

HPE then, has not directly replaced Davis. According to the blogpost, Heiko Meyer, will continue in his role as chief sales officer, with country heads reporting to him. Meyer will report directly to Neri. ®

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