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Bill Hilf. (Microsoft Photo)

Bill Hilf, the executive who helped Microsoft warm up to open-source technologies nearly a decade ago, has left the company to join Hewlett-Packard.

Hilf has joined HP as its vice president of converged cloud products and services. He actually made the move over the summer, but it hadn’t previously been reported. HP executive Margaret Dawson mentioned the hire at a GigaOM conference yesterday, and Wired followed up with confirmation.

(Update: Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reported this back in June, although it wasn’t officially confirmed then.)

He had most recently been Microsoft’s general manager of Windows Azure product management. Responding to an inquiry from GeekWire this afternoon, Hilf shared more about his new role, including the fact that he’s working under another former Microsoft exec, Bill Veghte. Here’s part of what Hilf had to say.

My role is to look across HP (which is massive) and drive product/services management for the pan-HP cloud portfolio. We are focusing on hybrid cloud for enterprises, and deeply involved with OpenStack as the core platform we will build on. So I’m having a lot of fun jumping back into my open source roots, the OpenStack momentum reminds me a *lot* of the early days of the Linux evolution, so it’s a very fast paced and exciting time to be part of this.

We are not going after the AWS or Azure space in terms of mass audience, low-cost generic public cloud – our focus is on helping enterprise customers build clouds as they see fitting their specific needs. I believe most enterprises will have hybrid cloud solutions for a range of reasons (security, privacy, regulatory/compliance, data sovereignty, etc.) and our strategy and portfolio will focus on helping them build these types of clouds that span public, private or managed (outsourced). HP has all the assets to do this better than anyone, from hardware, software, services, global reach and local presence, etc., and I get to paint with that awesome palette!

Hilf is based in downtown Seattle but travels to Silicon Valley frequently in the role. He’s also still running his non-profit program High Five Hope, which uses basketball and other team sports to teach and help homeless and imprisoned kids in the Philippines.

Previously: How a high-five changed this Microsoft GM’s life, and helped a bunch of kids

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