Former HP CEO Meg Whitman has stepped down as HP Inc.’s board of directors’ chairperson, with Chip Bergh now taking the reigns.
Whitman, who was the CEO of Hewlett Packard when it was split into HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in 2015, will still remain as the chief exec of HPE.
“HP has now been a standalone company for almost two years and I’m proud to have helped get the company off to a great start,” said Whitman in a statement. “The HP board is among the most diverse in our industry, and the company has established a proven track record of successfully delivering on its commitments. I’m very confident in Dion’s continued vision and leadership as well as Chip’s ability to help guide the organisation.”
Speaking glowingly of the outgoing chairperson, Dion Weisler, HP Inc president and chief executive officer said: “Meg was instrumental in the formation of HP and in helping us to navigate early life as a separate company, bringing essential experience and continuity of leadership to our entire team,
"I will be forever grateful to Meg for her many contributions. She is a terrific friend and advisor and will remain so as we continue executing on our strategy of reinvention. I very much look forward to working closely with Chip as our new chairman as we shepherd HP into the future.”
Whitman’s involvement in HP Inc was one of the few hangovers of the pre-breakup days, and now the two HP brands are running entirely independently from one another. It has been suggested that Whitman’s position on HP Inc.’s board would have a potentially detrimental effect on the company’s business opportunities. Whitman could, feasibly, block HP Inc. from getting into business with any of HPE’s direct competitors say. Therefore the decision for Whitman to step down as HP Inc. transitions away from the ‘old’ company makes sense for all involved.
There have also been recently reported rumours that Whitman, who ran unsuccessfully for California governor as a Republican in 2010, could leave HP altogether, with Bloomberg suggesting that she is in line to take over from Uber’s controversial and recently ousted CEO Travis Kalanick. This could be the first step in a total seperation from both HP Inc and HPE.