HP Exec Stays on Top of the Game

April 29, 2007


By Nicole C. Wong
San Jose Mercury News

At least once a week, Hewlett-Packard executive Philip McKinney runs into someone who asks him, “What’s in your pocket?”

That’s because the chief technology officer of HP’s personal computer business is always toting around prototypes of the latest gadgets.

But the classic McKinney question could also allude to his knack for pulling innovative ideas out of his sleeves.

Since coming out of retirement about four years ago to join HP, the fiery 46-year-old has created a CTO council to weave customers’ ideas into products from the get-go and an Innovation Program Office to push HP Labs’ technologies into the marketplace, rather than letting them languish in the research and development phase. His efforts combining openness with swiftness are spurring HP’s growth opportunities and its culture of creativity.

“It’s part of the transformation that we’re trying to make inside of HP,” McKinney said. “The traditional model for HP is we build a product, hold it, hide it. … You don’t show it until you announce it and you spring it on the market.”

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