Well … It is time for me to write my “farewell blog” to all of you - my blog readers. After 25 years and almost six months to the day, I have decided that I want to retire from my VP of Worldwide Marketing role at HP to pursue new opportunities and challenges. It was a very difficult decision to make. I want to thank you for making this blog the #1 read executive blog in HP!
//Note to visitors: as Vince has left HP, we will keep this blog available as read-only, though it will not offer new posts or comments in the future.//
Secondly, a little history. When I joined HP in 1983 as a senior financial analyst, the San Diego Printer division was humming along in the business of making high quality graphic recorders – XY, Strip chart, and various analog tape recorders for customers you were not supposed to know about (hint: FBI).
As the remnants of the 1958 acquisition of the F.L. Mosley Company, we were part of the Test and Measurement Group and sales were around $200-300M. Not bad considering HP was at $4.7B and not even a Fortune 50 company yet. These products were precursors to HP’s printer business and the site was a full blown manufacturing facility.
When I started with HP, there was no voice mail, no email, and programs were still mostly run using job control language on mainframes. There was one department PC used to run financial calculations with an innovative new program called VisiCalc on a pre-Microsoft OS.
At the same time, it was the dawn of the printer business and I was privileged to work first in finance then in marketing. Of course that was only after convincing the marketing manager I did not need an engineering degree to be a marketer (as it was common in those days)!
In marketing, I had a chance to do pioneering product management and market development work on some of the earliest printing products we had, as we were just establishing the category – the desktop plotters (7550A), HP’s first raster products (the 7600 Series Electrostatic plotters), the PaintJet XL (HP’s first color ink jet printer ironically from San Diego), the PaintWriter products (HP’s first color Mac compatible products), and the supplies business. Around the same time, the Vancouver printer group was launching its first product, the ThinkJet (1983) and bold moves were being made in Boise to establish the first desktop LaserJet printer in 1984 (we will celebrate our 25 year anniversary in 2009).
These were exciting times. I will remember the rest of my career as building the imaging and printing business to the market leadership position it has today and establishing new product categories like network lasers, color laser, MFP’s, and AiO in various marketing management and executive roles in San Diego, Boise, Böblingen, and Singapore for both ink and laser printers. Along the way, I met my wife, Wee-Nah, who also (still) works at HP and shared the joy of working with some of the best and brightest people in the industry.
But enough history, and let me fast forward to today. After 25 years and 3 continents, it is time to say goodbye, arrivederci, adios, sayonara, and 再见 to all of you. Please keep reading and providing your comments to the blog. Thanks once again for your support!
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org