HP employees tell us they were shocked to get an email from Meg Whitman this morning. It said HP has hired yet another outsider—George Kadifa of Silver Lake Partners—for a leadership role at HP.Why the surprise? Whitman had told employees that HP needs to find leaders from the inside, people who understand the company.
That strategy was “cheerful news for most in HP who saw a rudderless ship with people being brought in who did not know the inherent issues within HP, so that the company seemed to switch this way and that according to the new leadership,” one employee told Business Insider.
The Kadifa hire sends the message that these strategic shifts will continue rather than subside.
“Nice to see that this is still going on,” as our source put it.
We’re told that this email is the first from Whitman to all employees since last week’s announcement that HP would be cutting 27,000 jobs.
Employees found it weird that Whitman didn’t even mention Autonomy—not even to clarify that the new vice president of software is NOT taking it over.
Autonomy’s founder Mike Lynch left HP last week after reporting “disappointing” revenues. Employees were told that Bill Veghte was taking over on a “interim” basis. Today, he was promoted to COO and a new software vice president announced. But the new vice president will NOT be running Autonomy, HP PR told Business Insider.
“Very little information has been given out about the HP Autonomy Information Management division,” an employee told us. “Looks like another EDS ready to happen in HP.”
The employee is referring to the disastrous HP Enterprise Services business, which was formed when HP HP spent $13.9 billion to buy EDS in 2008.
Here is the email from Whitman:
To: All Employees
In January, I asked Bill Veghte to take on the role of chief strategy officer in addition to leading HP Software. Since that time, Bill has been hard at work helping the company move forward on both fronts. Now, I have asked Bill to step out of his software leadership role to take on the additional responsibilities of chief operating officer (COO). As COO, Bill will further accelerate the execution of the company’s strategy by working across HP to drive innovation and customer satisfaction. Bill will work closely with his peers on HP’s executive council to support key projects affecting the company’s operational success.
I am pleased to announce that George Kadifa, a 30 year veteran of the IT industry will join HP as executive vice president, HP Software and as a member of the executive council, reporting to me. George joins us from Silver Lake, a global technology investment firm with more than $14 billion of assets under management, where he most recently served as Operating Partner for the Value Creation team. In that role, he was responsible for driving operational improvement and growth in a wide range of enterprises within the 24-company portfolio of the firm’s large-cap investment fund.
George is known for his expertise in building and managing technology businesses and has held a variety of leadership positions at IBM, Corio Corporation (founder), Oracle, Xerox and Booz-Allen & Hamilton. He also brings extensive management consulting experience in technology ventures and software development. I am excited that an executive of George’s calibre is joining our leadership team.
Please join me in congratulating Bill on his new role, and welcoming George to HP.