Meg Whitman, the CEO of HP Enterprise (HPE), has decided to step down from her position early next year, the company announced on Tuesday, 21 November.

The tech titan, who joined the organisation six years ago, will hand over the reins on 1 February, 2018 to Antonio Neri, the current president of HPE.

According to a report in CNET, the 61-year-old, speaking at the company's earnings call, said, "The next CEO of this company needs to be a deeper technologist, and that's exactly what Antonio is.

"He's been with the company 22 years. He is a trained computer engineer and has worked in almost every business of this company. So I just think it's the right thing."

Under Whitman's leadership, HP witnessed a major turnaround, particularly in 2014 when the company split into two – HP Inc., the division focusing on printers and personal computers, and HP Enterprise, which involved servers and software services.

She also took extreme cost-cutting measures during her tenure in a bid to shift the company's focus towards cybersecurity, cloud and computing markets.

Before joining HP, Whitman played a crucial role in eBay's success. The former Hasbro and Walt Disney executive also ran for the post of California's governor in 2010, and, according to nonprofit group Catalyst, her exit will bring the number of women executives leading S&P500 companies down to 25.

Whitman, an economics graduate from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard, is ranked 12th in Forbes' World's 100 Most Powerful Women list of 2017.

"I'm incredibly proud of all we've accomplished since I joined HP in 2011. Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets," Whitman said in a statement.

"Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future."

Neri, 50, joined HP as a customer service engineer and went on to hold various leadership roles before being appointed as president in June 2017. He will join Whitman and others on HPE's board of directors.

Back in July, Whitman was in the news when Uber needed a new boss. Several reports suggested that the ride-hailing giant was looking to appoint her as its new CEO, but Whitman cleared the air, tweeting that she planned to stay on as HPE's CEO at the time.