CEO Of The Week: HP’s Enrique Lores

HP products are proving essential as most of the U.S. workforce is ordered to stay home, says CEO Enrique Lores.

HP’s products — printers, 3-D printers, PCs and monitors — are proving to be very popular during the COVIS-19 pandemic, as most people across the country have been ordered to shelter in place, says CEO Enrique Lores.

HP has seen “very strong demand for PCs — and in general for everything that has to do with people working from home or people learning from home,” Lores told CRN.

And it’s likely not a temporary phenomenon — the demand for HP products to arm remote workers will likely just increase after the pandemic, as many employers are now seeing the benefits of telecommuting, he predicted.

“We think that this is going to be a permanent effect. In any crisis, there are tailwinds and headwinds. Clearly, this is a significant tailwind,” Lores said.

“When these situations happen, usually strong companies get stronger,” he said. “HP is a strong company, and we really look at these opportunities as ways to become stronger.”

The Palo Alto, California-based company has also been partnering with others to use HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3-D printer to print medical parts, including components to make more face masks and respirators, Lores said.

“Our partners and customers can download the designs, produce the parts and make the parts available to hospitals and other health care centers in their local communities,” he said. “We think we can have a significant impact, especially in those cases where some of those products are not available.”

Indeed, the expansive value of 3-D printing is now being illuminated because of the pandemic, Lores said.

“It is really highlighting how 3-D printing has the potential of transforming the manufacturing industry,” he said. “This is a great example of its capabilities.”

Separately, Xerox last month said it was postponing its attempt to takeover HP due to COVID-19.

“In light of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, Xerox needs to prioritize the health and safety of its employees, customers, partners and affiliates over and above all other considerations, including its proposal to acquire HP,” said XEROX CEO John Visentin. “As we closely monitor reports from government and healthcare leaders across the globe and work with colleagues in the business community to minimize the spread and impact of the virus, we believe it is prudent to postpone releases of additional presentations, interviews with media and meetings with HP shareholders so we can focus our time and resources on protecting Xerox’s various stakeholders from the pandemic.”

On March 31, HP issued a statement regarding Xerox’s withdrawal of its unsolicited exchange offer and director nominations.

“We remain firmly committed to driving value for HP shareholders,” the company said. “HP is a strong company with market leading positions across personal systems, print and 3D printing and digital manufacturing. We have a healthy cash position and balance sheet that enable us to navigate unanticipated challenges such as the global pandemic now before us, while preserving strategic optionality for the future.”

“Our focus remains on addressing the needs of our ecosystem of stakeholders around the world, ensuring that we build on our strength and resiliency throughout this crisis and position the business for the opportunities ahead,” the company said.

Lores became president and CEO in November 2019. During his 30-year HP career, he has held senior leadership positions spanning HP’s personal systems, print, industrial and services businesses across country, region and worldwide roles.

Lores was a key architect of the separation of Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2015, leading the Separation Management Office. Other previous leadership roles include GM of HP’s commercial PC business, SVP of worldwide customer support and services, and SVP of worldwide sales and solutions, among others. Lores began his career as an HP intern.

“Thirty years ago, I was drawn to HP by the company’s unique ability to bring out the best of humanity through the power of technology,” Lores said when the company announced the board’s unanimous decision to have him succeed Dion Weisler as president and CEO.

“The opportunities ahead are vast and the need for us to keep reinventing is more important than ever,” Lores said. “I continue to be inspired by our customers, partners and employees, who are turning bold ideas into meaningful innovations. This is where we will set our sights for the future.”

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

Age: 54

Education: bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain); MBA, ESADE Business School (Spain)

First joined company: HP engineering intern, 1989

Prior to joining HP: N/A

Named CEO: November 2019

He’s No. 105 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies