After Hours: Gonzalo Usandizaga
Gonzalo Usandizaga, Vice President & GM, Emerging Markets, HPE Software
How did you come to be in your current role?
I have recently taken over the position of vice president & general manager Emerging Markets for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Software. The Middle East is a significant and strategic contributor within the company and after over 20 years of working in the Western part of Europe, this new role is an outstanding opportunity for me to learn about new markets and economies.
What is your management philosophy?
First of all we have to take care of our employees. As such people management is key. At HPE, we have an open door policy and I expect my management team to spend the necessary time to listen to our employees and make an extra effort to honestly and openly communicate.
What was your first computer, and when did you first use it?
A Hewlett Packard computer, naturally! I first used it back in 1986.
What is your greatest achievement?
It definitely has to be when I got my first multi-million dollar contract signed at the age of 27, almost 17 years ago now. It was with one of the largest banks in Europe and was a record deal for the vendor I was working for at the time.
What was the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
In my years of experience, the biggest challenge in my career was when I had to integrate a company that we acquired into our own. The experience taught me how important it is to surround oneself with a talented, determined, agile group of people who do not give up no matter the circumstances. I had an amazing team that worked extremely hard to make the transition a success.
What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle East industry?
My fondest memory is my first trip to Dubai in 1999 as sales rep working for a well-known technology vendor here. It was wonderful to see this amazing city, the culture and the people. Coming back here, I am astounded by how fast the city has grown and innovated in such a short span of time and I’m looking forward to making this my home.
What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in 2017?
That without a doubt has got to be IoT.
What’s the best way to deal with stress?
For me personally it is to get involved in sport. It keeps your mind and body active and allows you to refocus on something else.
Number of years in the industry: 22 years
Favourite food: Seafood
Holiday destination: Mallorca & San Sebastian
Music: Spanish Pop
Dream car: Mercedes Benz 540 K
Gadget: iPHone 6S
Movie/book: The Untouchables by Eliot Ness