Is it just us, or are corporate executives exiting almost as fast as Hollywood sex perverts?
Moments after we learned that the head of Pixar and animation at Disney was taking a leave of absence due to "kissing, groping" missteps, HP Enterprise announced that long-time CEO Meg Whitman is stepping down effective February 1, 2018. And no, no sexual harassment here, although in light of the business' secular decline that may have been a better option for shareholders.
Then again, shareholders certainly had it nice when Whitman's biggest achievement appears to have been the following (from the press release): "Under Whitman’s leadership, significant shareholder value has been created, including nearly $18 billion in share repurchases and dividends."
As for Whitman's next steps, we look forward to her entry in the 2020 presidential race, although it is not exactly clear if she will run as a democrat or republican.
From the release:
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) today announced that, effective February 1, 2018, Antonio Neri, current President of HPE, will become President and Chief Executive Officer, and will join the HPE Board of Directors. Meg Whitman, current Chief Executive Officer, will remain on the HPE Board of Directors.
“I’m incredibly proud of all we’ve accomplished since I joined HP in 2011. Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets,” said Meg Whitman, CEO of HPE. “Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future.”
Meg Whitman was appointed President and CEO of HP in September 2011. Since then, she has executed against a five-year turnaround strategy that has repositioned the company to better compete and win in today’s environment. Under her leadership, the company rebuilt its balance sheet, reignited innovation, strengthened operations and improved customer and partner satisfaction. It also made strategic moves to focus and strengthen its portfolio, most notably its separation from HP Inc., which was the largest corporate separation in history. She also led the subsequent spin off and mergers of HPE’s Enterprise Services and Software businesses, as well as strategic acquisitions including Aruba, SGI, SimpliVity and Nimble Storage.
Under Whitman’s leadership, significant shareholder value has been created, including nearly $18 billion in share repurchases and dividends. Since the birth of HPE on November 2, 2015, the company has delivered a total shareholder return of 89 percent, which is more than three times that of the S&P 500.
“During the past six years, Meg has worked tirelessly to bring stability, strength and resiliency back to an iconic company,” said Pat Russo, Chairman of HPE’s Board of Directors. “Antonio is an HPE veteran with a passion for the company’s customers, partners, employees and culture. He has worked at Meg’s side and is the right person to deliver on the vision the company has laid out.”
HPE stock is down 8% on the news.