Gabi Zedlmayer, Chief Progress Officer, Hewlett Packard

Gabi is a passionate woman I first met for lunch in Zurich in 2012. At that time we both worked on a project in Colombia. Later that year Gabi invited me to the Woman of the World Conference in New York City where she was debating with Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President Bush, on how young leaders can make a positive impact on global health issues.


Gabi delivering a major Keynote at UN Climate Week

No surprise to me that Gabi was honored as one of 150 “women who shake the world” by Newsweek and the Daily Beast. Soon after she was named a member of the League of Extraordinary Women by Fast Company and was awarded with the DLDWomen Impact Award. Gabi is a person who makes an impact on the state of the world and is an example on how companies can benefit from social innovation and sustainability.

Now Gabi drives Living Progress initiatives that help improve communities, aligned with HP’s business strategy. She leads a global team of experts focused on solving social issues in collaboration with non-profit organizations, governments, customers and partners. Her goal is to create solutions that improve communities and advance human, economic and environmental progress. Gabi serves as a member of the board of directors of Hewlett-Packard GmbH Germany. She is a President of the Women’s Council of HypoVereinsbank UNICREDIT and is also a member of the EU Commission e-skills leadership board, the Computer Science Advisory Board of the University of People, and Junior Achievement Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The other day I met Gabi again and asked her a few questions:

  1. FS6A4860

    Gabi delivering keynote at the NYC Stock Exchange

    What keeps you up at night? Jet lag – I usually sleep well and deal with any potential issues during my daily morning run.

  2. Gabi, your job is to make the world a better place leveraging HP’s Technology, so please tell me what are you focusing on right now leveraging HP’s reach and means? We work with HP Labs and our businesses to come up with real solutions that address issues like access and delivery of health services or access to entrepreneurship training around the world – our solutions demonstrate HP’s capabilities in big data, mobility, security and cloud.
  3. What are the 3 most important things companies need to do to make the world a better place? Make global citizenship core to the company strategy, engage all employees around the world and balance short and long term results.
  4. How can you rally all of HP’s employees to take part in a social cause to make a bold impact? Make it exciting, relevant and also easy to participate. The HP Foundation has announced a phenomenal program together with the Non-Profit Organization KIVA – this initiative is called “Matter to a Million” and it enables every single employee to make recurring $25 loans to needy entrepreneurs across the world for five years.
  5. How do you measure/assess the ROI for a company engaging in Living Progress Initiatives? We look at it program by program, develop meaningful dashboards, utilize our big data solutions for reporting and we also measure whether engaging in volunteering opportunities has impact on employees’ engagement and morale. And if you want to know the answer here – it is a definite YES.
  6. What are you passionate about? I am passionate about my family and friends but also about my job which is probably the best job anybody can have in the world.
  7. What 5 iconic figures would you invite at your dinner party? Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, J W v Goethe, Mikhail Gorbatschow, Marie Curie
  8. What’s the last thing you Googled? Jeff Koons
  9. How you stay informed and current on what’s happening in the world? Online news as well as social media and the traditional coffee corner…
  10. Either Or

Beef                            or         Salad

Beach                         or         Mountain

Water                          or         Wine  -> goes together so well(!)

High Heels                  or         Sneakers

Rock & Pop                or         Classic

Ballet                          or         Ballroom Dancing

Jeff Koons                  or         Vincent van Gogh

I-Phone                       or         Samsung

Tennis                         or         Skiing

Leonardo DiCaprio     or      George Clooney