As part of the APD-EAE series of sessions held in Madrid and Barcelona, entitled Spanish Executives around the World, on Tuesday 19th December, the auditorium of the famous La Pedrera building in the Catalan capital was the venue of a presentation by Enrique Lores, President of Imaging, Printing and Solutions Business HP Inc.
The event was introduced by the Dean of EAE Business School, Josep Maria Altarriba, and the APD Board Member for the Mediterranean Area, Francesc Homs. Enrique Lores focused his part of the conference on his experiences in Silicon Valley, having worked for almost 30 years in HP, holding leadership positions throughout the organization. More recently, as the Head of the Department of Separation Management for HP Inc., he oversaw one of the largest and most complex corporate separations in history.
“Silicon Valley is different from other places. It is special”. This is how Enrique Lores started his conference, emphasized that the reasons for this include the existence of an ecosystem made up of technology-based companies, the capacity to attract talent (around 30,000 people per year want to work there, but only around 1,000 are taken on) and access to capital, “as a large proportion of venture capital investments go into this area”.
However, for the President of President de Imaging, Printing and Solutions Business HP Inc., the really important aspect of Silicon Valley is not the money but the culture. “Focused in their ambition to change the world, to be able to do it and convince others to do it too, because anything is possible there”.
As to whether it would be possible to create Silicon Valley elsewhere in the world, such as Europe, Lores explained that it would be complicated for a number of factors. “However, in Israel, there is something similar because there is a superior culture of entrepreneurship”. With respect to Barcelona, he emphasized that it was an important hub, but that it would be difficult to replicate the same model as in the USA in the city.
Dividing HP in two
Two years ago, HP underwent a great transformation, in which Enrique Lores played a central role. HP separated into two different companies: HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The aim was to achieve greater specialization in each of the two areas of operation, in two companies each with a turnover of 50 billion dollars a year. “We wanted HP Inc., focusing on the printer business, to embody the spirit of a startup and the culture of companies in Silicon Valley, but with the capacity and logistics of a large company”.
This decision was taken because, at HP, there was a growth problem and it was impossible to dedicate the company’s efforts fully to each area. “The decisions that were taken could have put both the business at risk. Moreover, Wall Street penalizes large holding companies because they do not give much information about their shares”. At the time, Enrique Lores revived the employees’ passion by enabling them to reinvent a project “in which the team was passionate about its work”. In additions, they were incentivized through the generation of ideas that they contributed for the design of products.
This is achieved by offering users experiences through physical printing. “In the digital world, something physical has value”. For instance, a photograph that you can print and hold, that transports the user to a world of memories and sensations. “Printing is an emotional act”.
The results of the separation are important. “The share value has doubled, we reduced in-channel stocks and only sell the consumable goods that users really need”. We also purchased Samsung’s printer business and they have been able to explain much more effectively the role of printing in society
Sustainability, NASA and 3D printing
Enrique Lores also spoke about sustainability. “We have programs to minimize the environmental impact of our products. 95% of the material used to make cartridges is now recyclable”. He also underlined the fact that 90% of paper now comes from trees planted for this purpose, adding that you consume more energy “using digital gadgets than you do when you print”.
Looking to the future, at Imaging, Printing and Solutions Business HP Inc., they have undertaken a project with NASA to build printers that work in space without gravity. “Three months ago, we resolved this problem by redesigning the printers”. They will be available in March. In addition, he mentioned 3D printing, where they are focusing their future, and Barcelona will be a hub, specifically in Sant Cugat, where HP has the multinational 3D printer development centre.
Enrique Lores was the Senior Vice-President and General Director at Business Personal Systems, where he was responsible for all the business in general, including product definition, marketing and sales strategies, comprehensive product development and business execution around the world. Previously, he was the Senior Vice-President of Customer Support & Services (CSS), providing the leading service in the industry to more than 150 million HP customers and helping HP to build, develop and provide a leading range of services in the industry.