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Dell CIO Jumps To HPDell CIO Jumps To HP

Randy Mott will be looked to for cost cutting, but the Dell and Wal-Mart veteran has a well-deserved reputation for innovation as well

Chris Murphy

July 15, 2005

3 Min Read

Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd has a reputation as a cost cutter. Expect HP's IT organization to feel the squeeze now that Hurd has recruited former Dell CIO Randy Mott to take the CIO job at HP. Mott is a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive who helped build that company's innovative use of supply-chain IT and who drove a cost-conscious, global-development approach to IT at Dell.

Mott, InformationWeek's CIO of the year in 1997, will be in charge of all application development, data management, technology infrastructure, data-center operations, and telecommunication networks worldwide. He takes over from Gilles Bouchard, who has been CIO since 2003 while also holding the title of executive VP of global operations. Bouchard will keep his operations role. Mott will be on HP's Executive Council and will report to Hurd.

Mott wasn't a big user of outsourcing at Dell or Wal-Mart but has advocated global development.

Mott wasn't a big user of outsourcing at Dell or Wal-Mart but has advocated global development.

Photo by Sacha Lecca

Hurd has taken several steps to remake the executive structure since taking over as CEO from Carly Fiorina. He recruited Todd Bradley, former president and CEO of palmOne Inc., to be executive VP of the personal systems group, which includes PCs; Hurd re-established the group as its own business unit. He also named HP veteran Cathy Lyons as executive VP and chief marketing officer.

Mott has a reputation for running a tight IT operation, a trait Hurd alluded to in a statement announcing the hiring. Mott has a "track record of running highly efficient, world-class IT operations for complex organizations," Hurd said. In May, during his first earnings call as CEO, Hurd said, "We're reviewing every element of operations and cost structures, and nothing will be taken for granted. We will take the necessary steps to drive a performance-oriented culture across our company."

But Mott is far from just a cost cutter, with a well-deserved reputation for innovation. He hasn't shied away from custom-developing critical business applications if he sees the potential for a competitive advantage, and many of the IT systems used to run Dell's build-to-order business depend on apps developed in-house. HP didn't return calls requesting an interview with Mott, a member of InformationWeek's editorial advisory board.

At HP, Mott is moving to a larger but slower-growing company than Dell. HP's sales grew 7% to $21.6 billion for its quarter ended in April, compared with a year ago. Dell's sales grew 16% to $13.3 billion in the most-recent quarter. Both companies had operating profit of $1.2 billion despite Dell's far-lower sales, pointing to Dell's efficiency and HP's need to cut costs.

Interestingly, given HP's role as a major IT outsourcer, Mott wasn't a big user of outsourcing at Dell or Wal-Mart. His philosophy largely has been to keep application development and IT operations in-house, and try to match the efficiency of outsourcers. He has been a big advocate at Dell, however, of global development--spreading development across employees around the globe, including lower-cost locations such as India.

Mott had been with Dell since 2000. Before that, he worked for 22 years at Wal-Mart, six years as CIO. At Dell, Mott led a change effort within the company's IT organization to make Dell's IT more efficient, more global, and more closely linked to business performance. For example, his IT team set long-term goals to reduce the percentage of the IT budget spent on system maintenance, while increasing the share for new projects. At the same time, he set a goal of cutting IT as a percentage of revenue.

Mott's goals for IT won't be identical at HP. But count on a similar focus from Hurd on measurable results.

About the Author(s)

Chris Murphy

Editor, InformationWeek

Chris Murphy is editor of InformationWeek and co-chair of the InformationWeek Conference. He has been covering technology leadership and CIO strategy issues for InformationWeek since 1999. Before that, he was editor of the Budapest Business Journal, a business newspaper in Hungary; and a daily newspaper reporter in Michigan, where he covered everything from crime to the car industry. Murphy studied economics and journalism at Michigan State University, has an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia, and has passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams.

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