back to article HPE waves bye-bye to 36 years of executive experience

The first implementation of a planned major reorg at Hewlett Packard Enterprise was outlined last night with a new chief sales officer named and the heads of the Americas and EMEA ops confirmed as exiting the business. In a message to the workforce – seen by us – president Antonio Neri said Phil Davis will move from his post …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Just more shuffling of the deckchairs

    On the RMS HPE-Titanic.

    The Iceberg was hit when Meg took over. Now we are just waiting for the water to come over the gunwhales.

    with the damage done in recent years, you won't be missed when you finally file for Chapter 7.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just more shuffling of the deckchairs

      Does HPE really need a sales executive? not sure that they actually have anything left to sell.

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Just more shuffling of the deckchairs

      The Iceberg was hit when Meg took over.

      The Iceberg was hit when Carly Mark Leo Meg took over. The dysfunction at that company started a long time ago.

      I started there several years after Carly's doomed Compaq acquisition, and there was still tension and distrust between pre-merger HP and former Compaq people. I was there for Mark Hurd's disastrous EDS acquisition, where former EDS people basically ignored HP. I was there for Leo's catastrophic Autonomy acquisition, along with basically throwing away Palm and WebOS.

      Queen Meg is just the latest in the clown parade. The fact that the company still exists in any form is astounding. Any one of the train wrecks above would have taken down most companies.

      1. GSTZ

        Re: Just more shuffling of the deckchairs

        I'm certainly not a fan of Carly, who was posing as a CEO pretty much as another actor is now posing as an US president. Killing off the "HP way" (a quite motivating management style) was certainly not a good idea, either. However I need to give her credit for saving HP at that time, by pushing the Compaq acuisition through. Old HP had lost it's drive, and was about to shrink down to just a printer company.

        If you do look at the sad remainings of the HPE portfolio now, it's pretty much that ancient ProLiant server line acuired from Compaq that keeps the company still alive today.

  2. djstardust Silver badge

    It's worrying though

    Companies like HPE, British Airways, British Telecom etc. used to be the backbone of Britain. Now they are all extremely shit. This country has nothing of value left.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: It's worrying though

      Sorry to be pedantic, but did the UK ever have HPE?

      1. djstardust Silver badge

        Re: It's worrying though

        OK, Hewlett Packard.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: It's worrying though

          HP(E) was never British.

          If you were complaining about e.g. Logica I could understand it.

  3. brizo2478

    The death knell of a once great company

    HPE is now no more than a company selling overpriced commodity hardware who will most likely either be snapped up by a rival (although who is left...Lenovo maybe?), taken private by a VC and asset stripped or will fade away like Kodak.

    Meg's strategy has been great for her and the board in driving shareholder value but what is left now to push except product lines with ever decreasing margins in a desperate race to the bottom....

    With the likes of Andy Isherwood and Peter Ryan jumping before the ship sinks is there any doubt in its long term fate?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The death knell of a once great company

      HPE is now no more than a company selling overpriced commodity hardware who will most likely either be snapped up by a rival

      I've thought HP and IBM should just merge, then they both could share the costs of their inevitable Chapter 7 filing.

  4. ckm5

    HP destroyed by a complete lack of vision

    And it started with selling off Agilent and ended with missing out on cloud by not capitalizing on all the work they did for Amazon.

    The eccentric, engineering focused company from this old commercial is no more:

  5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Should We Set Up a Pool?

    Should we set up a pool for the date the board fires Meg Whitless and the new CEO announces HPE is filing for bankruptcy?. Maybe two two pools.

  6. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    A re-org at HPE?

    Who could have seen that coming?

    I worked at pre-split HP, in what was then known as Business Critical Systems. The constant re-orgs sent yet another clear signal to the proletariat that Mahogany Row (or the C-Suite, if you prefer) had no effin' clue how to run the business. That, and the tens of billions squandered on crap acquisitions.

    The sad thing was that most of my peers were among the sharpest, most driven people I'd ever worked with. If the board and top execs had ever managed to get their heads out of the corporate bottom, so to speak, I have no doubt that these teams could have created amazing things. Instead, we were tasked with re-arranging Itanium deck chairs.

    So here's to you, HPE. Thanks for the ride on the crazy train.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As one of the 100,000 (but I volunteered), it makes me sad to see how the downturn in original thinking is just strengthening. 31 years ago, when I joined DEC, the future was fantastic. Now, what do the new ones coming in have to look forward to?

    I do wish HPE all the best, but some new radical thinking needs to happen soon.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HPE Next is a euphemism...

    ...for getting rid of a shitload more people in 'operational efficiencies'. Now that Meg/Antonio have flogged off what they can, it's time to truly run the company into the dirt to provide 'value' to the shareholders.

  9. bobajob12

    Tragedy..for some

    The problem with these mega companies is that no-one wants to do the hard, years-long work of re-orienting an organization, so they are susceptible to "magical pill" thinking.

    "If we just focus on services, we'll be fine"

    "If we buy company X, we'll be fine"

    "If we split half the company off, we'll be fine"


    Each time one of these pills is taken, chaos ensues as the organization tries to swallow and digest it. There is inevitably some collateral damage. To make matters worse, the faction that did like a particular pill and the faction that support it end up fighting for board supremacy, resulting in confusion and depression amongst the line staff and eventual failure.

    After a number of (failed) magic pills, sometimes the best thing is to break the company into pieces and sell it off. I think this is what MW's end game is, and although it is sad to see HP end up like this, I think it is probably the best course of action right now. I don't blame MW for this. I blame a series of hopeless predecessors.

  10. Jim Preis


    Marissa Mayer named as HP's next CE...

    Nevermind. I can't even finish the joke.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would it be safe to say that most of these once great companies grew and innovated during a time when the taxation system made sense form then to spend money on research and development? It seems that once business leaders were able to usurp government and buy "favourable" taxation legislation the whole business ecosystem changed and R&D was/is no longer important to the immediate bottom line. Capitalism leading to its own downfall.

  12. Salestard

    You'd think that makers of things would try to make life easy for the sellers of things, because selling the things you've spent money making is usually the path to happy accountants and shareholders.

    After 20 years flogging IT, for vendors, outsourcers and bog standard resellers, I can happily state that HPE are, without question, currently the worst. If they were ever in possession of a clue, it seems ol' Meg threw it overboard years ago.

    HPE Great Success Steps, as experienced last week by a colleague

    1) Quotes HPE flashylightbox to customer. HPE are engaged and say add further 10% discount because important customer.

    2) Customer changes spec by removing a minor bit of hardware, thus causing a new price for flashylightbox, HPE say same extra discount.

    3) Somewhere, deep in the bowels of HPE, an elderly ProLiant staggers into life, blows the dust off it's dual 750Mhz, and promptly applies a series of random numbers to the discount on the portal. Then, for good measure, it makes the number a negative.

    4) Colleague, concerned that the price of flashylightboxes should at least be a positive number, contacts HPE to query this.

    5) Inevitable cc the whole of HPE email chain occurs. Like flies, Veeps appear from nowhere to prove importance by writing things like "team, please action this ASAP".

    6) Global Veep of Shiny Teeth and Enamelled Suit in the US has a total brain fart and drops numerous passive aggressive email nukes on my fellow salestard;

    "you should appreciate HPE are working hard as a team to project a consist message to the customer, you need to be part of the team. Get onboard"

    Replies of "Please confirm that you want to charge minus sixty thousand quid for your tin" evoked even more passive aggressive Veepiness.

    So we're not selling HPE now. Although, applying HPE logic, losing a negative sale would be a positive revenue situation.

    Meanwhile, deep in the bowels of HPE, a ProLiant shudders back into standby, and resumes dreaming of electric Megs.

    1. bobajob12

      Pictures or it didn't happen

      I can well believe this did happen, so much so that I think you should contact El Reg and get them to turn it into a story. Suitably redacted pictures and El Reg contacting HPE for comment would be the icing on the cake.

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