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September 12, 2017
HPE CEO Meg Whitman has joined the board of directors at Dropbox, according to a blog post by Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. Whitman will remain in her role with HPE, having left the board of HP Inc. in July.
Calling Whitman “a trusted friend and advisor to me for years,” Houston said that Whitman’s experience and judgment will help the company scale.
“Last year, we had the chance to work together when Dropbox partnered with HPE to build our own cloud infrastructure,” wrote Houston. “And since HPE is a Dropbox customer, Meg knows our products well.”
Dropbox’s decided to move mostly off of AWS, and partner with HPE in early 2016 after building out its own infrastructure for over two years. Since then, Dropbox has launched new points-of-presence in Europe, Asia, and the U.S., and as of late last year was storing 90 percent of customer data on its custom-built “Magic Pocket” architecture.
Whitman was reportedly a finalist for the position of new CEO of Uber in August, before the company selected Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. She has previously served on the boards of several organizations, including the eBay Foundation, Goldman Sachs, and currently sits on the board of directors at Zipcar and Procter & Gamble. She was also the Republican nominee for Governor of California in 2010.
Dropbox secured a $600 million credit facility earlier this year, Bloomberg reports, and is rumored to be preparing for an initial public offering as soon as this year, and is expected to hire Goldman Sachs as its lead advisor in the process.
Cloud file storage competitor Box went public in 2015, and while it has never recovered its $23.23 opening-day share price, it has recovered from a near-bottom of just above $10 in July 2016 to roughly $18.50 in current trading.
Discussing demand for on-premise data centers in June, Whitman cited Dropbox as an example of a company successfully migrating from public cloud-based infrastructure to a hybrid approach.
“Dropbox is now cash flow positive, a key objective in its maturation as a business, as well as positioned to accommodate a lot faster growth in the enterprise market,” Whitman said.
HPE split from the PC and printer-making side of the Hewlett Packard, HP Inc. in 2015, and recent financial results seem to indicate that Whitman’s attempts to divest assets (such as its stakes in OpenStack and Cloud Foundry) and streamline the company behind servers and data center hardware are working.
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