HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman to step down

Business

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(Reuters) – Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co said on Tuesday that Meg Whitman was stepping down as chief executive officer early next year, sending its shares down 7.4 percent in trading after the bell.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman is seen following an interview on CNBC on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Whitman will be succeeded by current president Antonio Neri who takes over from Feb. 1.

During her 6 year tenure at the helm of the company, Whitman engineered the biggest breakup in corporate history as part of a turnaround plan, creating HPE and PC-and-printer business HP Inc from parent Hewlett Packard Co in 2015.

Under Whitman, HPE has aggressively shed assets and cut tens of thousand of jobs as it sharpened its focus on server and networking businesses.

In September, HPE spun off its enterprise software businesses to British software company MicroFocus International Plc in an effort to beef up its cloud services for corporate computing.

An undated handout photo of Antonio Neri. REUTERS/Hewlett Packard Enterprise/Handout

“I don’t think Meg Whitman was pressured to leave but rather she chose to do so as she fulfilled her objectives of making HPE a more nimble company and extracting as much value as possible from divestitures,” CFRA analyst Angelo Zino said.

Shares of HPE have risen nearly 47 percent since the split up in 2015.

“The departure of Meg Whitman as CEO will likely be viewed negatively by investors, as some might have been holding out hope that she would sell the remainder of the company,” Zino said.

Whitman, who previously headed eBay Inc, was reported to have been a leading candidate for the job of Chief Executive at Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL].

Separately, the company reported net income of $524 million, or 32 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with $302 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $7.66 billion from $7.32 billion.

Analysts were expecting fourth-quarter profit of 28 cents per share on revenue of $7.78 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Additional reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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