HPE Creates New Cloud Unit as Division Head Leaves

The company is putting its Helion cloud efforts into the new Software-Defined and Cloud Group, and replacing Bill Hilf with Mark Interrante.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise continues to restructure its core businesses and remake its executive team as officials look to streamline the giant tech vendor.

Just over a month after announcing that longtime HPE veteran Martin Fink—who at the time was the company's CTO and head of HP Labs—was retiring at the end of the year, HPE officials are reorganizing the vendor's cloud unit and naming a new executive to run it.

Bill Hilf, senior vice president and general manager of the company's cloud business, is leaving the company as officials create a new cloud unit that will include HPE's Helion OpenStack (HOS) and Helion CloudSystem efforts. The new business unit, Software-Defined and Cloud Group (SDCG), which will be led by Ric Lewis, who had been senior vice president and general manager of HPE's converged data center infrastructure unit. Mark Interrante will replace Hilf as the company's top cloud executive, reporting to Lewis.

Hilf is leaving HPE to pursue other opportunities, the company said Aug. 1.

In a post on the company blog, Antonio Neri, executive vice president and general manager of HPE's Enterprise Group, wrote that while the company may have the tools to excel in the highly competitive cloud space, "we need to continue to sharpen our focus and harness our strengths. … 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."

By combining the software-defined efforts with the HOS and Helion CloudSystem products, "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," Neri wrote.

He also announced other changes within the company, including the departure of Manish Goel, who had been senior vice president and general manager of HPE's storage business, and the upcoming departure of Robert Vrij, managing director of Americas sales, at the end of the year. Goel will be replaced by Bill Philbin, who had been vice president of data protection, data retention and software-defined storage (SDS) at HPE.

HPE has been undergoing a significant restructuring since it was created following the breakup of Hewlett-Packard in November 2015. The split created two new companies—HPE, which is an enterprise IT solutions provider, and HP Inc., which sells PCs and printers. Most recently, HPE in May announced it was spinning off its enterprise services business and merging it with Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) in a deal that is expected to close next year.

At the same time, reports have surfaced indicating that private equity firms are interested in either buying HPE's software assets—such as Autonomy or Vertica—for $6 billion to $8 billion or buying the entire company for about $40 billion and taking it private. HPE officials have declined to comment on either possibility.

The cloud business also has undergone changes as the company looks for ways to grow it. HPE in January shut down its Helion public cloud, opting instead to work with the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other public cloud providers—rather than compete against them—in developing hybrid cloud environments for businesses. The company also is expanding its private and managed cloud efforts.