HP's latest mouse can read your fingerprints.

Above: HP’s latest mouse can read your fingerprints.

Image Credit: HP

VentureBeat: Are there any other big topics on your mind that we haven’t mentioned yet?

Cho: Another area where you’re going to see a lot more from us is around sustainability. We care very much about this business, but we also care about the larger impact. It very much stems from what we think is right for our customers, but also, for us as a business and our employees as well. People are expecting more from their brands in general.

It’s been a very gratifying part. It’s not actually that new, even though we may be sharing more about it externally, but the focus on sustainability internally is something that has only been ramping for the last several years. What we’ve now just formalized is how we’re going to do that across the planet and people and communities. We’re doing that in order to better coordinate the different activities that are happening within the company in these three areas.

When we talk about the planet, we have many different areas where we’re driving toward use of more sustainable materials. We’ll continue to do that and work toward more sustainable PC products as we go forward. We talk about people, and that’s a very important one for us. Gartner recently gave us 10 out of 10 for our ethical and socially responsible supply chain. It’s very important for us in this business to be aware of what we do in the ecosystem around us.

Third, around community—as you know, education is an important focus of our business. Not only are we interested in delivering education in the future, but we want to make sure we’re improving learning outcomes in underserved communities. Last year, we had made the commitment to continue to improve learning outcomes around the world. We installed more than 100 HP Learning Studios in 15 different countries last year, and we’ll continue to invest in that.

I’m very proud of that. I’ve been a part of HP for 23 years now. The past few years have been a time where the energy of the HP employee base is excited about what we’re doing for our customers, what we’re doing for broader communities, and also how we do it. We’re doing it our way, doing it with integrity. You asked me up front what’s hit my radar. There’s an incredible energy and passion to the HP organization that I’ve been very pleased to see. Even my family says, “You seem so much more energized.” When your wife tells you something like that, you know there must be some merit to it.

We’re doing things we believe in. We’re building solutions for customers that we care about. Yes, we’re focused on short-term needs, but we also have long-term ambitions around delivering these experiences of the future and doing that in sustainable ways. There’s a momentum around that. That’s another part of what’s happening behind the scenes, and we’re very excited about it.

Above: Esports is big, but it needs to monetize better.

Image Credit: VY Esports

VentureBeat: What about your personal background still comes to the fore in your daily work? What experiences have been useful to you so far?

Cho: One thing is, I’ve been with the company for several years. I’ve been a part of many different businesses in many different regions. I’ve been able to see how we execute. Great strategy is important. Translating the strategy into how we execute day in and day out is an important part of what we do to be successful. That’s one element I bring.

The other thing is, having worked and lived and been closer to multiple geographies—I spent some time in Europe. I spent some time in Asia. That’s important. I talk about insight-driven innovation and we’re very serious about that. We have an official process by which we drive that. It’s about getting closer to our customers. I remember when I was in France and we were doing some customer segmentation. I was struck by how meaningful it is to have local insight. That’s a key part of what we’re doing a lot more of – customer-driven, insight-driven, and making sure it’s locally relevant as well.

There is something to the HP way. I wouldn’t have quoted it earlier, because it was a very broad term. But the tangibility of the focus on innovation, the focus on community, the focus on integrity, the focus on making a contribution—what I mentioned to you about sustainability, it’s so much more tangible now. It’s motivating as a broad place to engage. How to enable that for our employees—I just get the value, having been here and seen how those values are a key part of who we are. It’s materializing and accelerating in how we make HP a better place for people to work and make better solutions for our customers.

As an aside, I go grocery shopping more in the holidays because I have more time. A few years ago I actually bumped into somebody I went to school with at the local grocery store. They said, “Hey, where do you work?” and I said, “I’m at HP.” They said, “Oh, you’re still there?” I remember hearing that and thinking, “Why would you say that?” [laughs] The same thing happened this past holiday, with someone different. My first kid went to college this year, so I passed on that update, and I mentioned again that I’m at HP. This person said, “Omen Gaming, that’s the coolest stuff. My son is so into games.” It’s such an interesting thing. I think the energy and the momentum of what we’re doing is really permeating in multiple areas.

HP has a partnership with Zazzle to let you create your own laptop skin.

Above: HP has a partnership with Zazzle to let you create your own laptop skin.

Image Credit: HP

VentureBeat: You don’t have to worry so much about the HP brand versus something like the Apple brand.

Cho: I feel great about the progress we’re making. Our brand perception is improving significantly. Among Windows consumer brands we’re number one. Our net promoter score is now equivalent to Apple. I can go on about this, because if you think about our premium share, a lot of that growth has been on the heels of Apple’s share. There’s a lot of innovation energy and new things being developed. It’s happening out of the personal systems space at HP. There’s momentum we’re excited about and excited to continue.

VentureBeat: One last thing I was curious about—I was surprised that Nvidia and AMD were hit by this deflation of the crypto mining bubble in the last quarter. It came almost three quarters after Bitcoin started melting down. It’s such an odd sequence of events. I wondered if you saw any effects from this, if it created a bubble in PC sales and a subsequent inventory problem.

Cho: Speaking from the HP side, our growth has been very much balanced across all of our business. There’s not just been one element that’s pre-eminent. Crypto isn’t even an area of internal analysis for us. Our growth has been very balanced across all our businesses and across the world. It’s been on the heels of innovation in multiple areas, whether it’s gaming or health care or education or office. That’s not been on my radar. Our results aren’t reflecting anything unusual.

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