Executive Interviews

Experiences shared
by leading experts

Claire Bramley - Regional Head of Finance EMEA - HP Inc

  • July 28, 2016

We see that HP has recently gone through a large and public transformation – can you identify how HP stands out from the market/competitors?

The company separated in November 2015 into 2 listed Fortune 100 business laptop,companies; HP Inc., the personal systems and printing company and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the server, software, network and servicing company.The separation has been hugely beneficial. At HP Inc., we are now more agile and more focused with the freedom to invest and innovate solely in our own technologies such as with 3D, where will we lead in that market. The separation was a huge operation that went very smoothly with Finance at the forefront of the process. As part of the team, I am very proud of that.

Is the recent spate of announcements we have seen from HP Inc. a result of the transformation then, or is this the new pace you will work at?

Both, we are faster and more innovative.The speed of innovation coming out of the business now is mind blowing. Not only are our devices the best they have ever been, with the world’s lightest consumer and business laptop, plus the world’s smallest printer all coming out in the last year but we're innovating into whole new categories, such as immersive computing with HP Sprout and our 3 in one device, the HP X3. We are truly re-inventing the market and what we bring to it.

Why are you excited to be working for HP Inc.?

We’re the world’s largest start up! We have a renewed energy and focus but also the investment and scale to make a big impact. I was at Drupa recently, the leading industry event for print and graphics, and we had the biggest exhibition ever. I was proud and excited to see this in person, and to see peoples’ reactions.The people element is also very important and the partnership and trust that the rest of the business has with finance, is the best I have ever seen.Plus as one of the largest technology companies in the world, we have great international opportunities – I have worked in the UK, California, and now Geneva.

If you could go back and give your younger (graduate) self some career advice, what would it be?

If you work hard, do your best, and never give up, you are going to succeed. It is a bit of a cliché, but I have found it to be true.The other piece of advice I would give is the importance of networking. People give you advice and open doors for you. I am still learning from other people each and every day. This doesn’t have to be a professional formal ” mentor”? relationship. You can learn a lot from people over coffee. Approaching people and asking for advice is a good thing – not only will you learn from them but they will often think of you for a project or a position, and try to help.

What do you love the most about your current role?

I love the interaction with the business. I really enjoy influencing and helping the business. The return you get from the successes is motivating. My team is second to none and they have an excellent, can-do attitude. We all work together to be successful and deliver our balanced scorecard – share, profitability, channel control, and cash. I genuinely feel we have a team of very high performers here at HP, who go above and beyond to deliver results.

Having previously worked in the EU and the US, how does Switzerland compare?

I probably have a different view from some people here, as I work in Switzerland as part of an American company. I like Switzerland because it is very international. It gives a different perspective. It feels small, but when you see how many companies and banks are based here, it’s amazing. The scale and mix of business is very impressive.

What attributes do you look for when choosing a recruitment partner?

I think the most important thing from a recruitment partner is to have a deep understanding of the business and the culture.They need to understand the business dynamic and understand what sort of person will fit within the team. Every business works in a different way. Someone with the right personality, motivation and energy will sometimes be a better selection than someone with all the right experience assuming the technical skillset is there. Then it is about communication, leadership and being results driven.

What advice would you give to future aspiring leaders, and why?

Believe in what you are capable of and work hard. It is a simple, yet unavoidable truth that nothing comes without work. You need to be motivated, energetic and you need to believe. You should learn to adapt your style. Not everybody responds to the same style in the same way. Different people have very different styles so if you want the best result, you have to adapt to your audience.

If you could have chosen an Artistic, Musical, or Sporting career, what would it be and why?

I would have chosen to be a professional dancer. I danced when I was young until university. Watching professional dancers is awe inspiring; you have to be so strong and yet make it look so graceful. Dancers have to put their body through a great deal of training and tough situations. It’s a good approach to bring to my job today, work hard for results but do it gracefully. 


*Views and opinions contained within our Executive Interviews are those of the Interviewee and not views shared by EMEA Recruitment.*