Arik Hesseldahl

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HP Senior VP Ajei Gopal Leaving for Silver Lake Partners

ejection_seatIt has been a while since there has been a notable departure at tech giant Hewlett-Packard. But the dry spell is over. Ajei Gopal, an HP senior vice president and general manager in its software business unit, is leaving the company for a position with the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, sources tell AllThingsD.

Gopal’s new title at Silver Lake will be operating partner, and he’ll be based in New York. He will be part of Silver Lake’s Value Creation team, which means he’ll work across the portfolio of Silver Lake investments looking for ways to improve their operations.

The move occurs not long after a management shakeup in HP’s software business. The company named IBM veteran George Kadifa as its executive VP. Coincidentally, Kadifa came to HP from Silver Lake, where he had the identical job.

ajei_gopal_HP spokesman Michael Thacker confirmed the departure and sent this statement: “Ajei Gopal has decided to leave HP to pursue a new venture that will enable him to be closer to his family in New York City. While the company conducts an extensive internal and external search for a new leader for the IT Management group, George Kadifa, executive vice president, HP Software, will step in as the acting leader.”

Gopal (pictured) joined HP in 2011 from CA Technologies, where he had been executive vice president of the Technology and Development Group and oversaw the office of the CTO. Before that he was CTO at Symantec. And before that he spent nine years at IBM.

“In his new role, Ajei will contribute his unique insights in the areas of software and information technology to help drive a range of strategic and operational initiatives at our portfolio companies, and assist in evaluating potential future investments for the firm,” Charles Giancarlo, Silver Lake’s managing director and head of value creation, said in a statement.

Gopal sits on the board of directors and serves on the audit and strategy committees for ANSYS Inc. He was also a member of the Cloud Computing Steering Committee at the World Economic Forum between 2009 and 2011. He has 23 U.S. patents to his name and has a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and a doctorate in computer science from Cornell University.

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— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”