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HP Appoints Vikrant Batra To Be Its New CMO To Replace Departing Marketing Chief Antonio Lucio

Lucio, who is taking the CMO job at Facebook, was key in establishing HP's brand and was an outspoken advocate for diversity within the company.

HP Inc. has named Vikrant Batra, currently global head of marketing for the company's $19 billion Imaging and Printing Group, to be its new chief marketing officer.

Batra's appointment follows the news that Antonio Lucio, HP's chief marketing officer who played an instrumental role in building the company's brand following its split from Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2015, is leaving to become the new chief marketing officer at social media giant Facebook.

Batra, who has been with HP and Hewlett-Packard since 2010, was head of global marketing for HP's $33 billion Personal Systems Group before moving to the Imaging and Printing Group.

HP also announced the promotion of Karen Kahn, chief communications officer and head of communications, corporate brand and events, to HP's executive leadership team. Both Batra and Kahn report to CEO Dion Weisler.

"The appointments are symbolic of the deep bench of talent within our marketing and communications organizations," Weisler said in a statement. "Our corporate reinvention over the last several years has been fueled by the remarkable power of our brand – in our marketing leadership and emotional connection to our customers, and in our corporate narrative and purpose-driven positioning."

Lucio officially leaves HP on Aug. 31.

"We are grateful to Antonio for his service to HP," Weisler said. "With a brand that has never been stronger, it's a testament to his leadership that we are prepared with the right team to continue to reinvent HP and drive shareholder value."

At Facebook, Lucio, who starts in his new job Sept. 4, will report to Chief Product Officer Chris Cox and will be part of the leadership team headed up by Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, according to Facebook. He replaces Gary Briggs, who announced in January that he was stepping down from the Facebook CMO job.

Lucio, who previously held executive jobs at PepsiCo and Visa, joined HP in 2015 when Hewlett-Packard Co. was split into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc., the latter retaining the company's personal systems and printer businesses.

Lucio played a critical role in helping the newly independent HP build its brand and establish its position in the personal systems and printer markets. Earlier this year, in an interview with CRN, Lucio spoke about his marketing initiatives to establish emotional connections with customers and to reach out to millennials.

Those efforts also aided HP's legions of channel partners in their efforts to expand sales.

Lucio was also an outspoken advocate for expanding employee diversity within technology companies, arguing that such efforts lead to "meaningful business gains."

Lucio joins Facebook at a critical time for the social media company. The company's reputation was seriously tarnished earlier this year when news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, had collected and used information from 87 million Facebook subscribers to target them with political advertisements.

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