HP Partners Puzzled By Stephen DeWitt’s Absence From GPC

Stephen DeWitt has been a visible figure in the Hewlett Packard channel, which is why many HP partners were confused by his apparent absence from last week’s Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas.

According to several HP partners who attended GPC, HP officials consistently deflected their questions about DeWitt’s current and future role at the company. However, rumor has it that DeWitt will be joining Dave Donatelli’s $22 billion Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) division, and that HP will announce the appointment soon.

To say that DeWitt, senior vice president and general manager of Hewlett Packard’s WebOS business unit, has kept a low profile in recent months would be an understatement. DeWitt was named to head up HP’s WebOS business in an executive reshuffle last July, but has been practically invisible since HP shut down its WebOS hardware business last fall.

In an interview last month, HP CEO Meg Whitman told CRN that DeWitt has been working on strategic projects and will soon be taking on a new position. “I think we’ve got a really good assignment for Stephen, so stay tuned,” Whitman said at the time.
DeWitt’s fiery competitiveness was on display at HP’s Americas Partner Conference last March when he called out Apple for ignoring the channel and suggested that HP’s strength in this area could prove an important differentiator in the mobility space. Even after HP scuttled the Touchpad, DeWitt insisted that WebOS would eventually be the operating system linking a wide range of connected devices.

“The WebOS is not dead,” DeWitt said at the time. “We’re going to continue to evolve it, update and support it. We stand by it.”
DeWitt’s communication skills, as well as his energetic style and deep industry knowledge, will be valuable assets to HP no matter what role he ends up playing, one partner told CRN. “I’m glad he is still there and I hope they find a role for him,” said the source.