Vastavam web: Meg Whitman on Tuesday announced that she will step down as chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (HPE.N), ending a 6-year tenure that included overseeing one of the biggest corporate breakups in history.Whitman, one of the most powerful women in U.S. business and a former candidate for California governor, split Hewlett Packard Co into HPE and PC-and-printer business HP Inc (HPQ.N) in 2015 as part of a plan to turn around the large corporation. She aggressively shed assets and cut tens of thousand of jobs as HPE sharpened its focus on server and networking businesses.
“We have a much smaller, much nimbler, much more focused company,” Whitman said during the call after Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said the move felt abrupt. “I think it is absolutely the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins.”Whitman’s retooling of HPE included September’s spin off of HPE’s enterprise services and software business to British software company MicroFocus International Plc (MCRO.L) and acquired companies, including Aruba and Nimble Storage. This month, HPE announced it is selling its Palo Alto, California, headquarters, which the company has held for six decades.
Shares of HPE have risen nearly 47 percent since the split up, outpacing the 27.8 percent rise in the S&P 500 index .SPX during the same period. Whitman is leaving just as it is time for an executive with technical prowess to come in and retool the company’s offerings, said Ilya Kundozerov, equity analyst with Morningstar.Whitman ran unsuccessfully for California governor in 2010, and she has served on the presidential campaigns of Republican former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. She endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
She stepped down from the board of HP Inc in July and joined the board of Dropbox in September. Whitman said on Tuesday’s earnings call that she is “going to take a little downtime, but there’s no chance I’m going to a competitor.””I stay active in politics by contributing to candidates from both sides of the aisle who I agree with on core issues, but aside from that, I have no plans to get involved directly,” Whitman said in a statement.
Although Whitman is one of the most prominent executives in Silicon Valley, with a career that spans startups and older businesses, she is not a household name in California, despite her run for governor, said Elliott Suthers, senior vice president with Grayling public communications and communications and media adviser for the McCain/Palin 2008 presidential campaign.