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Marc Waters: From Portsmouth to becoming the MD of Hewlett Packard

independent– Marc Waters and his partner Morwena were impressively relaxed where the birth of their baby was concerned. They knew the local hospital was already under pressure from Covid so they thought they shouldn’t dash off prematurely to the maternity clinic. They had plenty of time, didn’t they? Then the baby decided to get on with the business of being born. There wasn’t even time to get to the car. Waters found himself delivering baby Leonardo right there, at home, on the stairs. Even the MD of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa) can’t always rely on technology to do the job.

Waters was born and bred in Portsmouth and remains a diehard Pompey fan and season ticket holder. Portsmouth FC are currently in the upper echelons of Division One and challenging for the playoffs. Not long ago they were in the Premiership and winning the FA Cup, then they slid into relegation and near administration. “We’re on our way back,” says Waters confidently. He was one of those brave fans who bought a share in the club to save them from oblivion, before they were bought by former Disney chief exec, Michael Eisner. “If the club had spent more of its millions investing in talent development and training pitches instead of bringing in a lot of expensive, ageing players, we’d be in a much better state now.” He applies the same thinking to giving youth a chance at Hewlett Packard: experience is not essential, motivation is.

“The opportunities I was given at a young age shaped my desire to want to do the same for the next generation,” says Waters. As a kid, he had two passions – football and fashion. He found a Saturday job selling suits in a local shop, Principles for Men – and, I can’t help noticing, is not just smartly turned out but dressed with a degree of panache. He starred in economics at school, subscribed even as a teenager to The Economist, and fancied having a shot at the LSE. But he took a year out after school and landed a job selling computers and IT – and never looked back.

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