HP Personal Systems CTO Phil McKinney to retire

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Hewlett-Packard chief technology officer of its PC division, Phil McKinney, announced late Monday that he plans to retire from the company to help build startups. McKinney’s retirement comes just days after HP announced that it will continue to produce PCs through the Personal Systems Group (PSG). 

“This is not the traditional retirement,” writes McKinney on his blog. “I’m not planning on spending my days playing golf or sitting around the house driving my wife crazy. I have far too much passion, energy and ideas to sit on the sidelines.” 

Instead, McKinney says he plans to “help innovators get better at innovating,” something he says he’s done at HP “for the better part of the last dozen years.” But now, his “mission” to further the technological advancements at HP has come to an end. 

“I can honestly say that I’ve done everything that is within my power to fulfill that objective,” he writes.

McKinney says his retirement will be filled with repeating “what [he] did at HP by helping others get better at innovation.” This includes filling “board seats, advisory roles and mentoring opportunities” that were not a possibility while he was at HP because he “will no longer have to worry about conflict of interest and other corporate restrictions.” He also plans to focus on the launch of his first book, Beyond The Obvious.

McKinney’s departure comes at a volatile time for HP. The company recently ousted its previous chief executive, Leo Apotheker, after he liquidated the company’s inventory of TouchPad tablets by slashing the price to as low as $99, then announced that the company may spin off or shut down the PSG to focus on its business product division. 

Apotheker was quickly replaced by former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who announced last week that HP will continue to produce PCs under the PSG, but that the company will make fewer models to focus on quality. Whitman also said that tablets running Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 will be part of the company’s consumer lineup. 

McKinney says he will remain with HP during the company’s transition period. His last day with HP will be December 31.

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