HPE CEO Meg Whitman, who led the company through some turbulent times it hasn’t quite escaped, will step down as CEO at the end of next quarter, the company announced Tuesday.
Whitman was named CEO of the former Hewlett-Packard in 2011, and played the leading role in the company’s decision to split into two entities in 2015, upon which she became CEO of the enterprise-computing focused HPE. She will be replaced by Antonio Neri, a longtime HP veteran who directed product development for years before taking on the President role earlier this year.
Whitman, who will remain on HPE’s board of directors, brought a level of stability to HP and later HPE, which is saying something considering all the drama that the company has seen in the 21st century. However, the two companies carved out from the Silicon Valley pioneer have been behind the crowd on the key trends in both personal and enterprise computing for many years; almost all the revenue growth HPE reported in its fourth-quarter earnings statement Tuesday came from financial services.
HPE in particular has struggled in the cloud computing era, although it said revenue and earnings per share beat analyst expectations alongside the news of Whitman’s departure. With companies no longer buying servers at the pace that they did a decade ago, HPE has been forced to change direction several times, once attempting to set up a public cloud service before eventually giving up on that effort.
Whitman has a long track record in technology and politics, successfully leading eBay through its startup phase to its initial public offering in 1998 before unsuccessfully pursuing a bid for governor of California in 2010. She was one of the finalists for the open CEO position at Uber (despite insisting she had no interest in the gig) before that job was awarded to Expedia’s Dara Khosrowshahi.