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August 2, 2016

$40 billion buyout rumour persists as HPE cloud chief and storage boss leave company

News: Major exec reshuffle sees Bill Hilf and Manish Goel leave the company.

By Ellie Burns

A number of key executives are to leave Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with the top-level departures coming at a time when rumours abound that the company is subject to a $40 billion takeover attempt.

Head of Cloud Bill Hilf, along with Manish Goel, HPE’s storage boss, are set to leave the company for pastures new. However, the reshuffle did not stop there, with Robert Vriji, managing director of sales for the Americas also set to leave, as well as the high-profile retirement of Martin Fink, CTO and head of HP Labs. Fink will retire at the end of the year.

HPE announced the big name departures in a blog post on Monday, with Antonio Neri explaining the changes to the company’s cloud business. He said:  "Today, we announced some key changes to our Cloud organization in order to capitalize on this growth opportunity and more deeply align with our vision for Hybrid IT.

"We are moving our Helion OpenStack (HOS) and Helion CloudSystem teams to EG and will become part of the newly created Software-Defined & Cloud Group (SDCG), led by Ric Lewis. 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, simply and effortlessly. Mark Interrante will lead this team.  As part of this transition, Bill Hilf will be leaving HPE to pursue other opportunities.”

Following Vriji’s departure, HPE’s sales team will be aligned into a single organisation, led by Peter Ryan, while Bill Philbin will take over as head of storage.

The big name reshuffle comes quick on the heels of other significant changes in HPE, namely the very public split of Hewlett-Packard in two and, more recently, the spinoff of its enterprise services business and merger with CSC.

However the latest rumour, yet to be commented on or confirmed by HPE, is that the tech giant could be the subject of a massive $40 billion buyout. Reuters cited sources not wishing to be identified as saying that buyout firms are looking to acquire software assets which HPE have considered divesting, for around $6bn to $8bn, while The Information named private equity company KKR & Co LP, among others, as ‘sniffing around’ and contemplating a $40bn+ buyout.

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