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Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Antonio Neri is one of those rare Fortune 500 CEOs who can say he has held almost every job in his company.
The son of an Italian homebuilder, Neri got his first job at Hewlett Packard in 1995 working in a customer call center in Amsterdam. He went on to have jobs in the printing unit, he ran services in the computer division, he led servers and networking businesses, and in 2017 was tapped to be president as Meg Whitman’s heir apparent. After 23 years in the trenches, he became CEO of the storied technology giant in 2018.
Neri says he shares his personal story to inspire HPE’s 60,000 employees.
“You can do it”, he tells them. “Aspire to be something bigger, every single day. But it starts by investing in yourself. By learning every day.”
An engineer by background, Neri has been trying to re-orient HPE on engineering and innovation. He says those are the roots of the company’s legendary founders, William Hewlett and David Packard.
“In the market we compete, you have to move really fast and when you miss technology or market trends, it’s hard to recover. We had our own lessons. We missed, you know, the cloud,” says Neri. “So having a technology background makes a huge difference.”
As CEO, Neri has been making acquisitions and investing heavily in new computing architecture. Already, he’s seeing changes.
“I can see the innovation picking up,” Neri says. “I can see an energized workforce.”
Watch the video above for more from my interview with Neri.
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