Four months ago, HP's Executive Vice President of Software took on a new role at the Silicon Valley giant: Chief Strategy Officer. That man was Bill Veghte, and today he's taking another step up the corporate ladder. Veghte is shedding the EVP title and moving into the newly-created Chief Operating Officer position at HP, reporting directly to CEO Meg Whitman. Taking over Veghte's old HP Software job will be HP newcomer George Kadifa. He comes from multi-billion-dollar technology investment firm Silver Lake, previously having held executive positions at IBM and Cisco.
The COO role is a new one for HP, providing further evidence of Whtiman's consolidation and reorganization of the company. According to HP's press release on the matter, COO Veghte "will help further accelerate the execution of the company’s strategy by working across HP to drive innovation and customer satisfaction" and will "work closely with Whitman as well as his peers on HP’s executive council to support key projects affecting the company’s operational success." In essence, it's going to be his job to make sure things happen, much like it was current Apple CEO Tim Cook's job to make things happen in Cupertino when he was Apple's COO.
What does this mean for webOS? We're not certain. Back when Veghte was announced as the Chief Strategy Officer, HP moved webOS under his domain. The webOS group had previously been under Shane Robison and the Office of Strategy and Technology, with the CSO position kind-of-sort-of replacing that role. Veghte will still be the CSO in addition to the new COO, giving him a lot of responsibility at HP, but presumably also a lot of pull. Though with everything going on at HP right now, we can't imagine he'll have a lot of time to devote to guiding our favorite open source mobile operating system project.
Update: We've confirmed with HP that Veghte will continue to directly oversee the webOS group even with his new position. So breath a sigh of relief, we don't have to learn a new name this week. So far.
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