HP Nabs Rackspace Engineering VP to Lead Cloud R&D

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HP has hired a former Rackspace VP, according to an internal memo obtained by Re/code. Mark Interrante will serve as HP senior VP of engineering in the company’s cloud business unit.

Interrante left Rackspace in March where he served as senior VP for products and engineering.

In his new role at HP, Interrante will report to HP executive VP and CTO Martin Fink, and lead the team in charge of research and development of HP’s cloud unit. His early involvement in OpenStack will be of particular interest to HP as the company expands its OpenStack cloud initiatives and HP Helion products.

In the internal memo to HP cloud employees, Fink outlines the “great progress” made by its R&D teams in the past several months.

“We have restructured to focus on our new roadmap and have grown our teams from both within HP and external hiring,” Fink wrote. “We have released new and exciting products such as Helion OpenStack Community, Helion OpenStack Commercial (Beta) and the Helion Development Platform (Beta) leveraging our Cloud Foundry partnership.”

In June, HP launched the Helion Network which is designed to provide hardware-agnostic services and secure hybrid IT environments through a variety of ISVs, developers, system integrators, and VARs.

Fink continued: “There has also been great work done in support of the public cloud. Now is the time to bring in a leader to focus on the continued growth and excellence of the cloud R&D function. Our ability to attract leaders of Mark’s caliber to the cloud organization is further evidence of our momentum in the marketplace and of the strength of our plans.”

Interestingly, HP was one of the rumored buyers of Rackspace when the company announced it had hired Morgan Stanley to evaluate its M&A options. More recently, anonymous company sources have said that Rackspace is now considering going private rather than pursuing an acquisition.

As the cloud market becomes more competitive, there is a lot of pressure on companies to keep top talent and prevent them from moving to competitors. Recently, AWS filed a lawsuit against a former employee, claiming that his move to Google violated his non-compete contract.

Prior to Rackspace, Interrante was the GM of Yahoo Media, where he led the global product teams for Finance, News, Sports and Entertainment. Previously, he held technology roles at HP, Deloitte Consulting, and Texas Instruments. He was also involved in three startups: Spoke Software, Public Mind, and Enviz.

Interrante will be based out of HP’s Sunnyvale office.

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