HP appoints Windows man as strategy chief

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HP appoints Windows man as strategy chief
Bill Vehgte, HP's new head of strategy.

But acquisitions stay under Whitman.

HP has named its current head of software Bill Veghte to an additional role of chief strategy officer, a move that will see him lead the vendor's cloud and webOS open source initiatives.

The new role comes months after HP said it would no longer have a chief technology and strategy officer -- a role that was until October held by Shane Robison, who retired shortly after former chief Leo Apotheker was ousted.  

At the time HP said the decision not to replace Robison's role was to drive strategy and research and development closer to the company's businesses after a rocky year under Apotheker.

Apotheker's tenure was marked by the failure of TouchPad and controversial acquisition of software company Autonomy, at a time when HP's dominance in the PC industry was under threat from Apple and Chinese computer maker Lenovo.

The appointment of HP's software chief to the top strategy role also comes as the company remains under scrutinity over its direction.

HP CEO Meg Whitman recently said infrastructure remained "core" to its massive eneterprise business, reversing Apotheker's comments in May last year that HP was "too reliant" on infrastructure outsourcing and needed to focus on higher value software and applications.    

Like Robison, Vehgte will be responsible for shaping HP's strategy and technology agenda.

However, the company's multi billion dollar research and development arm, HP Labs, and mergers and acquisitions will report directly to Whitman's office in line with HP's October reorganisation, according to Dow Jones newswire. 

Vehgte joined HP in May 2010, after 20 years at Microsoft, where he most recently launched Windows 7.

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