After five years sat on HP's enterprise channel throne, Kevin Matthews is heading to an as yet unconfirmed role in the company with networking boss John Ansell to be crowned the new UK king.
Talk in the industry about the role shifting emerged late last week and was today confirmed to El Chan by HP UK and Ireland managing director Andy Isherwood.
"Jonny's been running our [UK] networking business for three years and has grown it in every signal quarter bar none," he told us, adding this made him the ideal candidate.
Around 95 per cent of HP's networking business is transacted via channel partners so Ansell already has relationships in place with many, and brings a "fresh pair of eyes" to the role, the MD said.
Matthews joined HP after it devoured Compaq, working in the enterprise group from the start. He ran the Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) channel and was made channel overlord of the expanded unit in 2012 when HP merged its ESSN, with global accounts and the Technology Services biz.
Ishwerwood said he was not yet announcing Matthews next role "because the size and complexity of the channel in HP means I want a proper handover, this is not about Kevin performing badly far from it.
"As soon as I announce Kevin's new role, people will want to talk to him about that new role and I don't want him distracted."
The handover is expected from the middle to the end of calendar Q2, depending on how things progress.
HP likes its senior managers to get experience across multiple regions and product groups, and with HP's UK channel more advanced than most on the continent, Matthews could use his experience across Europe.
"This is about changing because we want to develop Kevin, we've been talking for a couple of months and its become an opportunity for him to do something different," said the big boss.
Matthews is a popular channel figure with many across the UK. Softcat chairman Martin Hellawell said the HPer "listened, was supportive and got things done".
He said its HP franchise grew from zero to $100m in six years and that Matthews helped make what is a vast sprawling organisation seem "simple".
Ansell starts the new role on 14 May. ®