HPE chief executive Meg Whitman will step down early next year

The announcement was made following the report of HPE's fourth quarter earnings.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, announced that she will step down from her position early next year. President Antonio Neri will take the helm on Feb. 1, 2018, the company announced on Tuesday following its fourth quarter earnings report.

"Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets," Whitman said in a statement. "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."

Whitman became CEO of HP in September 2011 and stabilized the company after the short tenure of Leo Apotheker. Whitman also oversaw numerous restructurings, invested in research and development and led the split of HP into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP. HPE focused on the enterprise with servers, networking, security and data center assets and pivoted to the Internet of things.

HP was reinvigorated after the breakup and upped its design focus for its PC business, stabilized the printing unit and developed a 3D printing business.

As for the numbers, HPE beat market estimates for its fourth quarter but failed to hit EPS targets for the fiscal year.

The company reported fourth quarter net income of $524 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $7.8 billion, up five percent from a year ago. Excluding charges, HPE delivered earnings of 31 cents a share.

Wall Street was looking for first quarter non-GAAP earnings of 28 cents a share with $7.75 billion in revenue.

For the fiscal year, HPE reported revenue of $37.4 billion with EPS of 96 cents. Analysts were looking for $33.34 billion with EPS of $1.38.

HPE's share were down nearly eight percent after hours.

Quarterly revenue for HPE's enterprise group was $6.9 billion, which was flat year over year. Servers revenue was down five percent, but storage revenue was up five percent. Networking revenue was up 21 percent, and technology services revenue was up two percent.

In terms of outlook, analysts are expecting earnings of at least 28 cents a share with revenue if $7.15 billion. HPE responded with first quarter non-GAAP earnings between 41 cents and 45 cents a share.

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