HP Goes To Clorox For New Enterprise Group CIO


Hewlett-Packard has quietly hired a former Clorox CIO to help lead its Enterprise Business Group.

Ralph Loura posted on his LinkedIn profile that, as of this month, he has taken the role of CIO for HP's Enterprise Group. Prior to moving to HP, he spent four years as CIO at Clorox.

The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

[Related: 12 Months In The HP Channel]

An HP spokesperson confirmed in an email response to CRN that Loura officially starts with HP on July 7. He replaces Tami Mallett, an experienced HP executive, who will be managing a new program.

HP's Enterprise Group is the second-largest part of HP's business after its Printing and Personal Systems Group, accounting for just under a quarter of HP's entire revenue during the second quarter of fiscal year 2014.

However, the Enterprise Group has been struggling more recently. HP in May reported revenue for the group of $6.7 billion, down 2 percent compared to the year-ago period. The decline was attributed to a 14 percent drop in business-critical server revenue and a 6 percent drop in storage revenue. Operating profit for the Enterprise Group was just over 14 percent of revenue, down from about 16 percent a year ago.

The move to bring Loura from a consumer product-focused company to the business solution-focused HP speaks volumes about how HP is changing to ensure its solutions and services better meet the needs of business users, said Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and longtime HP partner.

"It's going to help put a focus on real business solutions, and is in line with major changes in the industry such as the move to adopt converged infrastructures," Baldwin told CRN.

Baldwin said he has seen that shift gradually happen over the last couple of years in similar HP executive additions. For instance, Baldwin cited HP's 2012 hiring of Ramon Baez, former vice president and CIO of Kimberly Clark, to take the helm as global CIO.

HP in 2011 also hired John Hinshaw, former vice president and general manager of Boeing Information Solutions and senior vice president and CIO of Verizon Wireless, to be the company's executive vice president of Global Technology and Business Processes.

"Look at the business background these executives bring," Baldwin said. "HP has been bringing in people who really understand the way business works. It's a very positive move for HP."

PUBLISHED JULY 3, 2014