Marketers Need To Do More With Mobile Tech: Q&A With Ian James, Verve

Antonio Lucio, the CMO of HP, is an industry champion for women and minorities. In this conversation, personal and professional narratives converge as he shares the business imperative driving HP's diversity push, his own missteps and struggle with depression, and the challenge of getting millennials (and their kids) to print. This interview originally ran as an Ad Age "Ad Lib" podcast and has been edited for space and flow.

You have a tendency to last longer that the average CMO.

I like to build things and stay in places. I was 13 years at PepsiCo, eight years at Visa as the CMO. [CMO recruiter] Greg Welsh from Spencer Stuart told me that I was breaking all sorts of records.

You've made it a mandate at HP to push for diversity at the agencies you work with. Talk about the results.

We made sure that our team was diverse first. We had pretty good representation of females at the manager level, 52 percent. But at the top senior leadership level, which is the 10 most senior jobs that report directly into me, we only had two. Today, we have 50 percent.

Some hard decisions?

Some hard decisions. But when you're rebuilding a team and identifying how to compete in a digital world experienced through mobile, you have the opportunity to change things around. Next was inviting the agencies. We said we're going to have a scorecard and you're going to set your own targets. I'm not in the quota business. We just want to see progress.

Would you have pulled business away if they didn't match that target?

I did not use the hammer. I used the glove first. After a year, we went from 40 percent women working on our account to 60 percent. And on the leadership roles, most of our agencies went from zero to 52 percent. That's the good news. On the people-of-color side, we did not make as much progress as the agencies had agreed to.

Why do you think that is?

I think we are with people of color where we were with women several years ago. We need to build the pipeline. We need to get those interns and we need to get them into marketing jobs and we need to get them into advertising jobs. We need to ensure that those interns are actually progressing within the company.

You were very vocal in the run-up to CES last month over the dearth of female keynote speakers.

The issue of the poor representation of women on center stages transcends CES. I would be very surprised if we don't see a change next year.

Who nails it?

I don't think any of the big forums. At the same time, someone like Leslie Berland at Twitter had her own tech panel and it included Kara Swisher, [executive editor] of Recode; Padmasree Warrior, who now is the CEO of [an electric car] company, previously a chief technology officer; Kimberly Bryant, the CEO of Black Girls Code; Linda Boff, the CMO of General Electric; and more. The format was amazing. She asked: Who you are and where do you come from? What are the key lessons you learned? And what advice would you give your younger self? This was not about women. This was lessons on leadership.

OK, so who are you and where do you come from?

[Laughs] My name is Antonio Lucio, I was born in Calle, a city in the southernmost part of Spain. My father was Spaniard, my mother is Puerto Rican. When I was 7, I moved to Puerto Rico, and by the time I was 12, I crossed the ocean twice.

Advice you'd give your younger self?

Don't judge yourself too hard. Mistakes are going to be part of life.

Can you cite a mistake that was critical to your evolution?

I've made every single mistake in the book, on the personal and the professional side. I lost a marriage because I was not balanced enough in terms of the amount of time I was dedicating to my work versus the relative amount of time I was dedicating to my family. I learned from that. There was a point when I was diagnosed with chronic depression and I had to fundamentally change every aspect of my life: what I ate, exercise routines, the need for meditation and balance. All those things are key lessons that help you define who you are, make you a more interesting human being and a more compassionate human being.

Source :

The Standard Bearer: Q&AA With HP's Antonio Lucio
What Non-Technical Founders Really Need To Know About Tech
Qualcomm pushing mobile VR: Lighthouse-free 6DOF and exclusive Q&A
Why Marketers Need to Optimize for Voice Search in 2018
Marketers Need Structured Innovation to Achieve Real Progress
Marketers Need to Do More with Mobile Tech: Q&A with Ian James, Verve
How to Target Millennials With Billboard Advertising
How to update your social marketing creative processes
Tech Q&A: Boosting Wi-Fi, protecting Social Security numbers, and more
Why Personalization & Mobile Commerce Are More Important Than Ever