HP Names Ex-Windows Chief Bill Veghte as Chief Strategy Officer
In an announcement made this week, Hewlett-Packard has named Bill Veghte, the current executive vice president of HP Software and the former senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows business, as the new chief strategy officer.
"As chief strategy officer, Veghte will be responsible for keeping HP on the cutting edge of innovation," HP said in its announcement on Tuesday. "He will work with HP's senior business and technology leaders to help define the IT industry's future and make certain HP continues to lead the way."
Veghte will retain his current title on top of his chief strategy officer role. Some of his new responsibilities will be overseeing HP's cloud efforts -- which include a major push into the public cloud -- and the webOS mobile platform.
Veghte's promotion comes in the wake of a tumultuous period for HP. In August 2011, the company surprised the tech industry by announcing that it was considering a spinoff of its PC business and the discontinuation of its webOS-based devices. A month later, the company fired CEO Leo Apotheker less than a year after appointing him, and named Meg Whitman as his successor. Whitman subsequently announced that HP will, in fact, keep its PC business and that it plans to contribute webOS to the open source community.
Recent troubles notwithstanding, Veghte has had success at HP, which hired him in 2010, four months after he left Microsoft. According to HP, under Veghte's guidance, its enterprise software business grew by 18 percent over the last fiscal year.
Veghte spent almost two decades at Microsoft before moving to HP. As a top executive in the $15 billion Windows unit, he oversaw the advertising and marketing campaigns behind the Windows 7 operating system. However, an executive reorganization in 2009 left Veghte's place at Microsoft in doubt. Steven Sinofsky was promoted to president of the Windows Division and Tami Reller was assigned a portion of Veghte's marketing duties. In the wake of those moves, Microsoft's plans for Veghte were unspecified. The company said only that it was planning to move Veghte to an unnamed position.
Reports later suggested that Veghte had initially sought a new role within Microsoft, but decided after a meeting with CEO Steve Ballmer to look for a position elsewhere.