San Francisco: Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s largest PC and printer maker, named Prith Banerjee, the dean of engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as director of its research labs.
Banerjee, 46, takes over from Richard Lampman, who announced his retirement in December, the Palo Alto, California-based company said. Lampman, a 35-year company veteran, will stay on through July.
HP Labs, established in 1966, has 600 researchers working in labs at the company’s headquarters, as well as in India, England, China, Israel, Russia and Japan. Hewlett-Packard spends about $3.6 billion (Rs14,760 crore) on research and development a year and has been licensing technology to boost returns on that expense. The labs’ budget was about 5% of research and development spending last year.
Banerjee has been a research scientist, professor and administrator for the past 23 years and has served as engineering dean in Chicago since 2004, Hewlett-Packard said. He will report to chief technology officer Shane Robison.
Lampman had led the research department since 1999.
Banerjee told Mint he would visit India far more frequently now. “We already have a research and development centre at Bangalore, and an important goal would be to capture the best of talent for our research endeavours.” He said he is confident of getting the best, as “I’ve been successfully hiring the best of faculty talent at the University of Illionois. (Chicago).” Banerjee said it was too early for him to talk about specific plans for HP’s research division, however he said he would be exiting his current entrepreneurial venture, BINACHIP Inc—an electronics development company—within a year. As dean, Banerjee led 115 faculty in six engineering departments. The school had 1,550 undergraduate and 900 graduate students, and $21 million in annual research funding.
Jacob Koshy of Mint contributed to this story.