HPE CEO Antonio Neri survived the Falklands War and thrived through a decade and a half of turbulence at Hewlett-Packard. He’s now facing a new challenge, after testing positive for COVID-19.
The 53-year-old tech veteran is drawing lessons from those experiences to lead the iconic Silicon Valley giant to the post-pandemic future and a fast-changing market defined by the rise of the cloud.
HPE has cut pay for executives including Neri itself, and is considering layoffs, as the pandemic takes its toll.
“The coronavirus has changed the dynamic,” he told Business Insider last week, shortly before finding out about testing positive. HPE’s game plan is “to take advantage of a very unfortunate situation like coronavirus and double down and accelerate the execution of the strategy.”
Neri points to the launch on Tuesday of Ezmeral, a new software brand, as a sign that HPE is establishing a firmer foothold for itself in the cloud market.
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A teenage passion for electronics led Antonio Neri, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, to a distinguished tech career and the top post at one of the most iconic companies in Silicon Valley.
It also led to a scary encounter with war and death.
Neri was 15 when the Falklands War erupted in 1982, working as an apprentice technician at an Argentinian base where he helped maintain combat vessels that saw action against the British. One of those vessels, the General Belgrano, was sunk by a British submarine, killing more than 300 crewmembers.
“It was a bit traumatic,” he told Business Insider. “It was an interesting experience but I would not recommend it to anyone.”
Neri says he still draws lessons from that experience in leading HPE, remembering the camaraderie he felt with people who were “looking out for each other,” and a “sense of community” that he says “I carry with me.”
Neri also draws lessons from the company’s history — HPE’s origin story begins at Hewlett-Packard, a legendary trailblazer in the tech industry.
Neri, a long-time veteran of the company, is now leading the company through a stormy period: It was already facing a steep challenge amid the rise of cloud computing, which hurts demand for traditional IT vendors like HPE.
That journey got rockier recently. HPE has reeled from the COVID-19 crisis which has forced the company to cut pay, including Neri’s, and to consider layoffs. For Neri, the pandemic also became personal. Last week, he disclosed that he’s tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Working through the coronavirus
Neri has vowed to keep working. On Tuesday, he’s expected to unveil new products, including a new HPE software brand, Ezmeral, a major move that the company hopes will give it more firepower in cloud computing, where it faces tough rivals adjusting to a rapidly changing tech landscape.
“The coronavirus has changed the dynamic,” he told Business Insider last week, in an interview held shortly before finding out about testing positive.
HPE’s game plan, he said, is “to take advantage of a very unfortunate situation like coronavirus and …read more
Source:: Business Insider