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HPE cuts EMEA management layer

HPE has removed a management layer in Europe on the name of agility and more rapid decision-making. The newly appointed Global Chief Sales Officer of HPE, Phil Davis says the company’s decision to change its EMEA management structure to help it make decisions faster and remove the distance between senior leadership and customers.

Speaking with IT Europa on the first day in his role he said: “In general the fewer layers between your senior leadership and the customer the better because you get a better sense of what is going on. You can push decisions closer to customers, you can do better empowerment.” 

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“We had a structure that was identical to what we had when we were a $110bn company. But we were now a $28bn company to be more fast-acting, to be more agile. And what we saw was that our corporate structure didn’t really support the business outcome in being a more agile company,” he said.

He emphasised the company’s new leaner structure: “I have been in business 29 years and I have never seen having a big, bloated, structure make you better. I think being more agile, more flexible, more focussed on customers is always a better structure.  I think the opportunity here is there are still things where you want consistency, either at a regional or worldwide level.”

Some large systems remain: “If you are a global account, you don’t want to do business in twelve different countries. You want a global experience, so even though we have done away with big structures, we are still going to have a global corporate programme.”

He was in the UK during a European tour which also takes in France and Germany, familiarising himself with the market, since before taking on the new role he was HPE’s regional Managing Director in Asia Pacific Japan. He has been with the company for over three years - previously with Dell for six years.

Looking at the European market he says: “The good news is that by living in Asia, I found there was no Asia.” The markets are all very different – India, Singapore Japan. “I think the same is true here. Russia’s IT adoption and trends are going to be very different from the UK; very different again in France. However, I think there are themes that all customers are struggling with right now.”

He would not confirm reports that the company is thinking of cutting 10% of its workforce. “I don’t know if that is right. I don’t know if we have broken that number out.”

“There is a lot of fake news out there. Be careful what you read,” he said.

But it has now been confirmed that after two years of restructuring and staff reductions, HPE is selling its headquarters on land it has owned in Palo Alto, California since 1957.