HPE restructuring has major Canadian leadership impact

Charlie Atkinson is no longer the President and Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Canada.

Sources have confirmed to that Atkinson, a 17-year veteran of HP and the executive who led HPE Canada after the historic split of Hewlett-Packard, has left the company.

One channel partner close to the situation at HPE Canada told that the re-organization is more of an adjustment than an overhaul.

HPE CEO Meg Whitman is reducing headcount by 5,000 worldwide, which is about 10 per cent of the workforce. Besides the Atkinson move, no other executive cutbacks have occurred at HPE Canada.

Charlie Atkinson

The focus of this restructuring is to get closer to the customer, according to sources. As a result Atkinson’s position has been eliminated by HPE as they try to reduce the number of layers of management from eight down to four. One source said the move was not a reflection of Atkinson’s performance at HPE Canada.

Whitman has been working to gain better control of the company and has made the Canadian operation part of a North American region. HP before the 2015 split had a similar structure in place.

While the new structure will not have a definitive Canadian independent authority, there will be an executive responsible for the Canadian operation in John Dathan, who runs sales for HPE Canada based in Ottawa. Dathan is the Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Enterprise Group at HPE Canada.

Feedback from the channel sees the departure of Atkinson as a sad day for HPE Canada and the entire channel community because he was viewed as a great leader for HPE and an executive with deep roots in the channel.

The same channel partner added that there will not be a defocus from HPE away from Canada. The channel partner believes this new restructuring will lead to faster turn-around times and that would be a positive for all involved.

Atkinson’s departure comes at a time when HPE made one of its broadest high performance flash roll-outs for the mid-market in its history. The introduction will have new storage, server, and hyper-converged offerings for this marketplace that is mostly handled by channel partners.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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