Hastings to stay in touch

Former Hewlett-Packard New Zealand chief Barry Hastings will still have a role with the company after his official departure next month.

Former Hewlett-Packard New Zealand chief Barry Hastings will still have a role with the company after his official departure next month.

Hastings confirms he is off to the family olive grove to sort out his future but says there will still be “a few corporate things” for him to do at HP.

“I am still a very minor shareholder. I am still on the board. I’ve still got interests but I won’t be involved in the day-to-day running.”

Hastings, who turned 50 last week, handed in his notice earlier this month, citing “personal and lifestyle reasons”. Several months ago he missed out on the top job to former Compaq NZ chief Russell Hewitt, instead becoming the new company’s general manager of both the personal systems and imaging/print groups.

Hastings is keen to dampen down speculation about his sudden departure, saying “there is absolutely nothing sinister here”. He says he decided to quit earlier this month once the new HP had “bedded down”, and spent five days thinking it through and discussing it with his “buddy” Hewitt. He will still be available for HP either part-time or full-time, he says.

Hastings says he plans to work until springtime on land he bought on Waiheke to grow olives. “Then, I will have a serious think about my future. Who knows what it will be?” Hastings says he has some ideas but won’t say what they are, but points out he has been in commerce for 32 years, including 14 in IT and 10 at HP.

He rejects any mid-life pangs. “If ever I did have a mid-life crisis, it would have been in my 30s.”

Hewitt, meanwhile, stresses it was solely Hastings’ decision to go and says there were no pay-outs, but says anyone who will have been at HP for 10 years will have “made arrangements”. The company has pension schemes, and staff with an agreed departure “probably have an agreement they are happy with”.

He confirms Hastings “has no plans to do anything” and that it was “his decision to leave entirely”. He was surprised Hastings left so suddenly but believed “it would eventually happen”.

Since the announcement several weeks ago, Hewitt says he has taken a few calls from people wanting Hastings’ former roles, but how they would be filled is still to be settled.

Last week Hastings was on a skiing holiday and “catching up with friends”.

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