In last year’s Top 25 Newsmakers, HP Canada’s president and CEO was tied with (now former) HPE Enterprise Canada’s managing director, Charlie Atkinson, but Mary Ann Yule really came into her own in 2017 and thus earned her own spot on the list.
2017 was the two-year anniversary of one of the most significant splits in IT history between HP Inc. and HPE and Yule made sure the separation caused as few headaches for customers as possible.
She was in charge of introducing and selling the multitude of new HP products to the Canadian consumer base this year, which included a new line of commercial desktops called the EliteDesk 800 series, two detachable mobile notebooks – the Elite x2 1012 G2 and the ZBook x2 – as well as the latest iteration of its A3 multifunction printers and wide-format colour printers, the OfficeJet Pro 7720 Wide Format all-in-one.
HP also updated its Spectre portfolio with 8th generation Intel processors and officially closed its $1.05 billion USD acquisition of Samsung’s printer business, which was announced in September 2016.
The company seemed to focus on filling its portfolio with highly mobile products to target the younger working generation this year, and Yule executed that plan well. She hosted an HP channel partner party in Toronto in June that featured Hamilton-native rock band the Arkells and former teen hacker Michael Calce AKA Mafiaboy, much to the younger generation’s delight.
Yule, who has been the leader of HP Canada since the beginning of 2016, was also an outspoken advocate for diversity in the workplace. She wrote an op-ed in the Globe and Mail in October explaining why inclusion is a business imperative, not just a moral or ethical one. She not only practiced what she preached, but she also found support for the cause in HP: the company’s chief marketing officer asked all its advertising and PR agency partners to submit a plan to increase the number of women and minorities in key creative and strategy roles. She also mentioned in the piece that HP committed to donating $100,000 to #FreeTheBid, an initiative aimed at increasing the number of female directors in advertising, while its global legal leadership team launched a “diversity holdback” requirement that “allows HP to withhold up to 10 per cent of all amounts invoiced by its law firm partners for so long as the firm fails to maintain diverse staffing in our legal matters.”