Hewlett Packard Enterprise restructures global comms

The function will be made up of five core teams.

Jennifer Temple
Jennifer Temple

SAN JOSE, CA: Hewlett Packard Enterprise has restructured its global corporate communications function into five teams.

Some of the teams have been merged together and formed around these pillars: corporate and financial comms, business and product comms, executive and employee comms, digital and creative services, and comms strategy and operations.

The streamlined organization will allow HPE comms to become more efficient and focused, the company’s chief communications officer Jennifer Temple told PRWeek. This will also enable integration not only inside the function but also outside of it, meaning comms can better integrate with any HPE team responsible for managing stakeholder relationships, such as investor relations, marketing and public affairs.

Katherine Ducker will now lead corporate and financial comms as VP. She was formerly the VP of global product comms for about a year. She’s been with the company since May 2016, a few months after its split with HP Inc., the PC and printers side of the business.

"[Ducker] and her team will carry the torch on our corporate reputation positioning work, in close partnership with marketing, to modernize the way we talk about our company with key stakeholders," Temple wrote in an internal memo to HPE staffers.

HPE has merged product PR and analyst relations into a single team: business and product comms. Randy Cairns leads this team as VP of business and product comms. This team will "conduct PR and AR for all [HPE’s] business units and ensure alignment with the Aruba and [HPE Financial Services] teams," according to the memo.

Aruba Networks was acquired by HP Inc. in 2015 in an all-cash deal worth $3 billion. Today, it represents HPE’s wireless, networking arm.

HPE also combined its digital, creative and tech capabilities into one digital and creative services team, led by Andrada Morar. HPE Technology and Creative Services is reporting to Morar now; its former lead, Mike Lachtanski, is leaving the company, Temple said.

"This centralized model will provide current and new creative web, video, and graphics offerings as well as enhanced social communications strategies, all designed to advance thought leadership," Temple wrote in the memo.

In addition, the company formed a new team called communications strategy and operations, led by Paula Berg, who is senior director of strategy and operations, the memo stated.

Strategy and operations is "responsible for strategic planning and measurement, ensuring we are maintaining focus on top business priorities, continually optimizing and reviewing performance and demonstrating results and stakeholder responses against clearly defined goals," Temple said in the memo.

VP Kara Sakuda continues to lead the executive and employee comms team.

"[Restructuring] helps facilitate the evolution we’ve been making over the past year," Temple said. This evolution was precipitated by the appointment of HPE’s new CEO, Antonio Neri, who succeeded Meg Whitman as the company’s chief in February 2018. Temple joined the company a few months later, in July.

Over the past year, comms under Temple has sought to better define its purpose and reconnect to the company "with a spirit of collaboration and a commitment" to support its businesses, Temple wrote in the memo.

"We addressed critical talent gaps, adjusted agency spend against priorities and invested in our people and capabilities," she wrote. "We conducted a stakeholder audit, providing a foundation to shape our go-forward plans and a benchmark for measuring progress. And we developed a communications plan with a clear call to action: Attack our ambiguity and proudly declare ‘We Are HPE.’"

More broadly, Temple said this gives an opportunity for HPE to not only differentiate itself from its legacy name, but demonstrate its impact.

"Too many people don’t fully understand or appreciate what the world loses if they lost HPE and we have compelling opportunity to make that case," she said.

HPE works with Ketchum and Sard Verbinnen & Co, two longstanding agency partners. In the fall of 2018, the company also started working with ICF Next, Berg said.

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