Five Minutes with Fabio Fontana
HPE Middle East VP and MD discusses his leadership philosophy and the trends driving his industry
Is there a moonshot idea that you are currently intrigued by?
I am fascinated by the perfect storm resulting from the combination of artificial intelligence to analyse immense amount of data, the capability to act in real time close to where events happen, and the vibrant innovation ecosystem that is emerging around these breakthrough technologies. The moonshot is unleashing the full power of the three altogether. This would give us a ‘Star trek’ level of understanding and interacting with the world.
There is a tremendous potential, especially for youth that can approach this new world without bias. HPE is advancing the fundamental technologies behind all of this. Memory-driven computing is radically changing the paradigms of analytics. Intelligent edge is bringing computing power and storage wherever needed, outside the cloud and traditional data centres. All that is already available, and just the first applications are confirming there is an incredible breadth of opportunities that our customers and partners can begin capitalising on.
What do you enjoy the most about working at your company?
It was HPE that created Silicon Valley back in the ’60s. It ultimately contributed to society by creating a new management style. This was called ‘the HP way’ and everyone that worked in this company or later went on to create their own company or start-up that carried this value forward. I definitely enjoy this ethos, the passion and the culture to establish partnerships with broad ecosystems of customers, partners, innovators, and the commitment to innovation.
Can you name a person who has had an impact on you as a leader? Perhaps someone who has been a mentor to you? Why/how did this person impact your life?
From a business perspective, Dave Packard, one of our co-founders, is for me a role model in the way he was able to build such a great company with scarce resources. It took him passion, creativity, and the energy to achieve goals via teamwork rather than brute force.
What is the most important decision you’ve ever had to make for your company?
Change a business model to become disruptive while risking how the challenges would affect our management structure and executives. It’s a lot of fun, involves a lot of energy, and excitement at every until the conclusion but also entails a lot of difficulties and a diverse number of decision makers and influencers.
What are three characteristics that you believe every leader should possess?
Being humble, thinking outside the box, and having trust in others. Finish this sentence, “the world would be a better place if only….” The world would be a better place if everyone would work to benefit society and not just themselves.