Prith Banerjee, the director of HP Laboratories since August 2007, has resigned, to join ABB in Zurich as Chief Technology Officer. During Banerjee’s time at the Labs, he drastically reduced the number of research projects and targeted those remaining projects more directly at products than at pure scientific exploration. Whether this strategy was needed streamlining or instead was the effective dismantling of a long-respected and innovative research operation has been the subject of much debate. IEEE Spectrum met with Banerjee, an IEEE Fellow, in 2009, to talk about his strategy for the restructuring and future of the laboratories. For HP CEO Meg Whitman’s internal memo announcing Banerjee’s reputation, see AllThingsD.com; for IEEE Spectrum’s 2009 story, see Profile: Prith Banerjee.
Banerjee will be replaced, at least temporarily, by Chandrakant Patel, currently director of HP's Sustainable Ecosystems Research Group and also an IEEE Fellow. Patel in 2004 talked with Spectrum about his dreams of controlling data center power consumption at both the rack level and the level of the individual microprocessor.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.