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Steve Donegal heads back to UK – Winds of Change

Friday, 02 June 2017
By Patrick Howard

High-profile industry player closes a chapter after 16 years heading HP’s graphics sales operations in Australia and the Asia Pacific.

The amiable Donegal originally joined HP in the UK and was soon general manger for the UK graphics operation. Approached in 2001 by Alon Bar-Shany to take over worldwide sales development of HP Indigo, he agreed to the role on one condition: it had to be located in Australia.

“It made sense. I had family here and Australia is central to the parts of the world with most economic growth,” he said.

On his arrival he set about building sales organisations in the local region and into Asia, South America and India. Then followed years of jet setting travel, of non-stop travel where he accumulated a treasure trove of tales that he’s been entertaining friend with ever since.

In the local region he worked closely with Currie Group becoming an integral part of the overall success in making Australia and New Zealand one of the most developed markets for HP Indigo in the world. “Working with Currie was very good. They’re a great bunch of people. I first met Philip Rennell in Beijing in 2000, before I arrived in Australia. We’ve worked together ever since,” he said.

Over the years he moved into many different roles, gaining a deeper insight into HP operations in the regions than almost anyone else. He eventually took on the role of General Manager APJ for the corporation.

He credits Currie Group with the development of the Australian market for HP Indigo. “It’s a small but sophisticated market. Currie has installed the infrastructure for remote diagnostics that is second to none. People can keep up with their machines’ operation in live time.

“It’s not without its challenges. It’s a very mature market with an early adoption culture, very sophisticated, where businesses invest in people and technology,” he said.  He described the working relationship between the Currie Group and HP as one “joined at the hip.”

But all good things must come to an end. The passing of his father a year ago crystallised how much he and his children were missing out on family relationships. At 52 he’s ready for a new challenge in life and a fresh start.

A true renaissance man, Donegal is a licensed professional helicopter pilot; an accomplished athlete who’s has played soccer, judo, and rugby at top levels. He even represented the UK and Ireland in American football at an international level.

Now he’s moving back to Northamptonshire with his family and looking forward to a new role with a new company. “Perhaps in a technology start up. Somewhere I can make an impact on a global scale.

“I feel I’ve achieved a lot, helped shape the HP and the HP Indigo presence in the region. During the past three years I’ve become country manager, focusing on strategic accounts in APJ, travelling less. Recently I closed the largest inkjet contract so far.

“What we’ve done here is transformational, never been done before. I’ve been very lucky and had a great time,” he said.

 

 

 

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