Former Microsoft Exec Veghte Joins HP's Enterprise Software Business

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2010-05-05 Print this article Print

Microsoft executive Bill Veghte, widely credited with helping shepherd Windows 7 to a successful launch, will shortly become executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard's Software and Solutions Business, where he will oversee the development and launch of enterprise software products. Veghte left Microsoft in January after a two-decade tenure that included leading the development of Windows 98. At HP, Veghte is expected to help strengthen strategic relationships with partners and clients.

Former Microsoft executive Bill Veghte has been selected as executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard's Software and Solutions Business, where he will oversee the development and launch of enterprise software products.

The appointment is effective May 17, HP said in a news release May 5. HP's business offerings include management and business intelligence software, as well as an extensive communications and media portfolio.

"Bill has built a reputation as an experienced business leader with a proven track record of driving growth and innovation," Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP's Enterprise Business, said the announcement. "Expanding our Software and Solutions business is critical to HP, and Bill's broad experience across sales, marketing and engineering will be instrumental in driving this business forward and in strengthening our strategic partnerships with our clients."

And Veghte said, "HP has built a strong reputation as a technology powerhouse with a respected global brand and deep client relationships. Software is a strategic part of driving greater innovation to our clients, and I look forward to leading the HP software team to continue to build a world-class business."

Microsoft first announced that Veghte would be leaving the company in January. "Bill has indicated a desire to run a business in a more end-to-end fashion and continue to explore new ideas in the broad technology, communications and services sectors," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a Jan. 15 statement. "I want to thank Bill for his important contributions to Microsoft over nearly two decades and wish him the best in his new endeavors."

Veghte first joined Microsoft in 1990 as an associate product manager, interviewing for the job in a neck brace after crashing his rental car on the 520 bridge in Seattle. He later went on to lead the development of Windows 98, and by the end of his career there had become senior vice president of the global Windows business. Veghte's colleague Steven Sinofsky was promoted in July 2009 to become president of the Windows Division, a move that some Microsoft watchers felt was a catalyst for Veghte's eventual departure.

Veghte is widely credited with helping shepherd Windows 7, considered a critical product for Microsoft in the wake of Windows Vista's lackluster reception, to a successful marketplace release. Since its October 2009 launch, Windows 7 has sold more than 90 million licenses worldwide, helping Microsoft buoy its revenues after several poor fiscal quarters due to the global recession.

Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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