Marilyn Crouther

HP's new gov leader names top priorities

A critical factor influenced Marilyn Crouther’s decision to become the leader of Hewlett-Packard’s U.S. government services business: the people who will be working for her.

“For 13 years, I’ve watched this team and they really care about their customer and the government mission,” she said in her first interview since her appointment was announced Dec. 15.

“A president is only as good as the cabinet, and I’ve got a good cabinet,” she said.

Crouther’s was a critical part of the cabinet of the leader she replaces, Dennis Stolkey, who was promoted to senior vice president and general manager of HP Enterprise Services, Americas region. Crouther served as vice president of finance under Stolkey.

Her background as the chief financial officer for the unit she now is in charge of gives her a deep understanding of the key financial metrics of her unit and of its customers, she said.

“We are very client focused,” she said. It’s a focus that was important to Stolkey, and customers and employees “will see that with me too. They want someone who is willing to sit down, roll up their sleeves and listen to what is important to them,” she said.

In today’s environment of tight budgets and a flat overall market, the focus on the customer’s mission is critical to success. Crouther said.

“We talk about outstanding service, and that sounds clichéd, but if we focus on quality, delivering and the customer’s mission first, everything else will follow,” she said.

HP has a history of delivering services such as application modernization, cybersecurity, data center services and IT services.

“We have to make sure we do those things in a cost effective way to help our clients save money and meet their mission,” Crouther said. “There is a lot of budget pressure but this really is an opportunity for us to shine.”

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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