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How many HPE staff does it take to pay for one CEO? 271

Antonio Neri bags $17m+ in compensation in fiscal 2022 versus $64,000 average for the grunts

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri was compensated to the tune of $17.36 million to run the company during its fiscal 2022, equating to the average annual pay of 271 employees.

According to its Annual Report for the year ended 31 October, Neri got a base salary of $1.275 million, up $50,000 year-on-year, option awards of $13.388 million – flat on 2021 – and $2.35 million for a "change in pension value and non-qualified deferred compensation earnings," down from $4 million.

All this meant the exec, who replaced Meg Whitman in 2018, got a total package of just over $17.3 million, down from $19.05 million in the prior financial year.

The pay pot for Tarek Robbiati, HPE CFO, was $8.2 million, and chief operating officer John Schulz was awarded $7.936 million. It's tough at the top but someone's got to do it. Chief People Officer Alan May was paid a not-too-shabby $4.83 million. Overseeing "transformation" programs must be stressful.

For those Reg readers yet to work out the average pay for someone at HPE – which we admit might not be among the list of questions to make Jeopardy – it's $64,006.

"Based on this information, the ratio of the annual total compensation of our CEO to the median annual total compensation of all employees was 271 to 1," HPE says in the 10k filing. This was based on roughly 61,987 individuals employed by the organization on August 21, 2022.

So how did HPE perform as a business in 2022? It grew revenues 3 percent year-on-year to $28.5 billion, the first time it recorded annual bounce in three years. So better but the 29 percent gains seen by AWS in calendar 2022 when it reached $80.1 billion perhaps provide some perspective. Incidentally, many of the HPE old guard are now employed at AWS.

The Compute division grew to $12.74 billion, by far the biggest unit, benefiting from a higher margin mix of configurations and server price rises; HPC and AI was flattish at $3.192 billion and Intelligent Edge jumped 11 percent to $3.67 billion. Storage and Financial Services were down.

HPE was a casualty of an indsutry-wide supply chain problem during the pandemic. It was, however, already behind Amazon and other cloud giants in the queue for new chips, and built a huge backlog of orders since 2020.

The sales pitch against the cloud giants is that we live in a hybrid computing world where some workloads live in a third party datacenter, some in a customer's own bit barn, and servers are required at the edge to record data that may, but not always, drive business outcomes.

Legacy hardware vendors say clients want to consume technology as they would any utility, paid for as an operating expense, because it gives them a more cloud-like experience. It also provides higher margins to vendors. The jury is out on whether customers agree with the legacy hardware tech vendors.

Greenlake is HPE's brand of choice under which it sells the entire portfolio as-a-service, yet annualized recurring revenue growth slowed in 2022, up 17 percent to $936 million versus 36 percent growth in the prior year to $796 million.

HPE says in an SEC filing [PDF] that Greenlake results were shaped by "unfavorable currency fluctuations, supply chain constraints and related installation delays," but this was counter-balanced and more than offset by an "expanding customer installed base."

So in some respects, Greenlake is a cloud-like solution yet it is one that is still tethered to some of the limitations of an on-premises delivery model. If those limitations lift to some degree in 2023, pay may rise higher for Neri and co. ®

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