Tech Industry

Meg Whitman will leave HP Enterprise CEO job early next year

In July, she tweeted "I am not going anywhere."

SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 8: Meg Whitman, chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard (HP), attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 8, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Every July, some of the world's most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, technology and political spheres converge at the Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive weeklong conference.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

When Uber suddenly needed a new boss, HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman's name lit up. The former HP CEO, eBay CEO and one-time California gubernatorial candidate often seems to be on the shortlist for such things.

But no, she tweeted: "We still have a lot of work to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere."

That was four months ago. But Tuesday, HP Enterprise announced Whitman will step down from her CEO post on Feb. 1 in favor of current HPE president Antonio Neri. Neri will join the company's board of directors as well.  

While Whitman will stay on the company's board of directors, it seems like her public role has been diminshed: from CEO and chairwoman of HP, to chairwoman of HP Inc. and CEO of HP Enterprise, and now simply a member of HPE's board.

(Hewlett-Packard split into two companies in 2014: HP Inc, the company's consumer-facing computer division, and HP Enterprise, which offers servers, software and services. Whitman originally served as chairwoman of HP Inc. as well, but stepped down in July 2017.)

"Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future," Whitman said in a statement.

Update, 3:30p.m. PT: On the company's earnings call, Whitman answered a follow-up question about why she's stepping down now: "[T]he next CEO of this company needs to be a deeper technologist, and that's exactly what Antonio is. He's been with the company 22 years. He is a trained computer engineer and has worked in almost every business of this company. So I just think it's the right thing."

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