As HP draws nearer to the day that it divides itself in two, we’re hearing that some top execs are putting feelers out for jobs elsewhere, preparing to bolt after HP completes the split.
One person said to be looking is Bill Veghte, according to a person who is not part of HP but had knowledge of the matter.
Veghte’s career under Meg Whitman has had a lot of shifts. He was briefly chief strategy officer, then he was COO, then he was tapped to run the enterprise group, replacing Dave Donatelli. (Donatelli is now working for HP rival Oracle.)
Veghte was also tapped to run one of the teams organising the HP split, while also remaining the general manager of the HP Enterprise group.
But after HP becomes two companies later this year (expected to be done in November), HP’s current CEO Meg Whitman will be running HP Enterprise, a company comprised of the products HP sells to large corporations.
Meanwhile, the second company, HP Inc., comprised of the PC and printer units, will have Dion Weisler as CEO. He’s currently running these units at HP.
So it wouldn’t be wholly surprising that Veghte is open to other offers. He joined HP in 2010 after a long run at Microsoft.
We asked HP about his current role and for comment on these rumours. A spokesperson told us:
“As announced earlier this year, Bill Veghte continues to play a key leadership role in the company’s separation efforts.”
There’s also been water-cooler talk that technology and operations boss John Hinshaw put out feelers and that his role after the split was changing. That rumour surprised us because all the executives on HP’s roster, Hinshaw seemed to be solid at HP.
And sure enough, he told us flat out that such talk was “completely false on all fronts.”
An HP spokesperson felt confident enough about Hinshaw’s future to double down on this denial, telling us, “As both HP and John have made clear, there is no truth to these unsubstantiated rumours.”
Hinshaw is a key player in Whitman’s brain trust, hired in 2011, thanks to his long background as a chief information officer. And his role at HP is bigger than CIO.
As Executive Vice President of Technology & Operations, the CIO reports to him. He’s also running global sales operations, global procurement, global real estate.
After the split, he’s going to continue this role for HP Enterprise, named the Chief Customer Officer and head of Technology & Operations, HP said in January.
On the other hand, we would imagine that there will be more shifting in the upper ranks caused by the turmoil of the split.
Some of it has already happened. For instance, HP announced in January that Marten Mickos was going to lead HP’s cloud organisation. But a month later, he had already been moved out of that role into something involving “customer engagement,” according to a memo from him obtained by The Register.
Mickos came to HP when it bought the cloud startup he was leading in 2014, Eucalyptus Systems. He might well want to try his hand at another startup — as many entrepreneurs do.
We also understand that HP’s competitors may be trying to grab some of HP’s power players while the company is in a state of transition. Oracle, Donatelli’s new home, comes to mind.
Interestingly, several rank-and-file HP employees we talked to are not all that stressed out about the split. Many of them know which part of HP they will belong to.
As to why there could be shuffling at the top, we don’t know for sure. But one story we heard about Meg Whitman from a former HP employee who used to work with her sticks in our minds: Whitman’s leadership style is to give her top executives whatever they say they need to get their jobs done. And if they fail at their objectives after that, they’re out, this person told us.
We have reached out to Veghte and will update this post if we hear back.