"...comment about forced distribution ranking, which we are getting away from."
And do you have some prime real estate in Florida that you'd like to sell to us? It was well known for years and years, if not decades, that management was forced to lie about this in the past. "Oh, no, of course we don't have forced distribution ranking! It might look like forced distribution ranking, and it might waddle like forced distribution ranking, and it might quack like forced distribution ranking, but it is NOT forced distribution ranking!" The only managers who would NOT tell this particular lie, were those who had just been laid off! And even those, reluctantly, because of "non-disparagement" clauses in their go-away-money contracts... But as long as you're not recording them, the laid-off managers will finally tell you the truth.
Management consultants (and their web sites) and business news articles have also told the truth, for years and years.
So HPE management shouldn't be crying in their beer if the Boy Who Cried Wolf is no longer held to be even the tiniest bit believable, when they say things like this.