Hewlett Packard Enterprise is undergoing another management and organizational shift as the company seeks to find its place in the cloud-driven world dominated by Amazon, Microsoft and others.
Long-time Seattleite Bill Hilf, the senior VP and general manager of HPE Cloud, is leaving the company “to pursue other opportunities,” as is storage chief Manish Goel, according to a blog post. And Robert Vrij, managing director of sales for the Americas, will leave at year-end.
The fate of HPE’s Helion group, based in Seattle, is unclear, but there are indications that it will be broken up and shut down. We’ve contacted HPE for more details on the changes, including the possibility of job cuts, and will update the story as more information becomes available.
The Helion OpenStack and Helion CloudSystem teams are being moved to the Enterprise Group, where they will become part of the newly created Software-Defined & Cloud Group, led by Ric Lewis, according to the blog post. Mark Interrante will lead the team.
“By bringing these assets together, we create a single organization tasked with a common mission – to provide best-in-class solutions that enable developers and operators to deploy their applications across traditional and cloud infrastructures,” the post said.
As Fortune noted, change has been the norm at HPE since it split from Hewlett Packard in late 2015, retaining control over servers, storage and cloud computing. HP Inc., a separate publicly traded company, kept the printers and PC businesses.
Hilf took on the role of HPE cloud chief in January 2014, replacing Marten Mickos, who held the post only briefly. Saar Gillai filled the position from 2012 to 2014, and Zorowar Biri Singh held it from 2011 through 2013.
Hilf, a former general manager at Microsoft’s Azure, in May 2014 was named head of HPE’s Helion initiative. That Seattle-based cloud effort envisioned spending $1 billion over the following two years and adding as many as 200 employees over the next 18 months to the 70 already in Seattle. But on Jan. 31, HPE shut down the public-cloud piece of Helion,
HPE and Cisco as of late last year were running neck and neck as suppliers of infrastructure hardware and software, each with annualized revenue growth of 30 percent for public cloud and 18 percent for private cloud, according to Synergy Research Group.
At least three private equity firms are contemplating buying HPE as a whole for more than $40 billion or acquiring some of its software for $6-8 billion, Reuters reported last week.
UPDATE: In an email, Bill Hilf wrote:
“Like many other companies, there comes a time where you naturally mainstream specific technologies into the broader product strategies, and now is the right time to integrate our Helion software assets more deeply into HPE SW and EG. In 2016, Cloud is now part of every product strategy at HPE, so this makes good sense to integrate, versus maintain a stand-alone division.
“For me personally, when I joined, I made a commitment to build the cloud business here at HP for three years, and I’m now 3 years and one month in, and we have had very strong growth – just this past June HPE Helion was recognized as a leader in the private cloud market for the third year in a row. So this is the right time for me to help move the technologies and teams more deeply into the company, and to pursue new opportunities.”