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2019 Emerging Leader: Cedric Bandoh
November 18th, 2019
By Melissa Fox

Cedric Bandoh has always been a leader. That is probably why, even as an undergrad at the University of Houston, people tended to trust and follow him. 

Cedric served as UH's Student Body President for two consecutive years and was honored by the university with the creation of the Cedric Bandoh Distinguished Leadership Award. According to the UH website, the award "Recognizes the involvement and leadership of students who exemplify the character of Cedric Bandoh's contributions and the model of his leadership."

After joining HP in 2014, Cedric quickly demonstrated his ability to lead through various activities and initiatives around the company. In his role as Chief of Staff for the Personal Systems Software Engineering group, Cedric helps lead organizational strategies and planning for an engineering team of over 300 employees. 

Cedric also serves as the Intern Coordinator Lead at HP. Under his management, the HP Houston internship program has been recognized as a best in class program for all of HP. 

We posed a few questions to Cedric to learn more about Houston's tech scene and how winning the 2019 Emerging Leader Award will help further his professional goals.

How do you see the HP of today as a competitor in the tech landscape? 
HP remains a global leader and competitor in the tech landscape. We are the genesis of Silicon Valley and the global tech industry. We continue to innovate today by reinventing computing experiences and accelerating 3D printing and digital manufacturing. This year, we celebrated our 80th anniversary and we have stood the test of time due to our ability to reinvent ourselves with a heavy focus on innovation, sustainability, and diversity and we will continue to do so into the future. 

Talk a little about how you view the evolution of Houston’s tech scene. 
The Houston tech scene has advanced significantly. From the storied history of Compaq and its merger with HP to the current footprint of tech companies and investment, the region is emerging as the “Silicon Bayou” as recently dubbed by the Houston Business Journal. We are home to over 500 digital technology companies, and I believe this will continue to grow and be fueled by our low cost of living, excellent academic institutions, diverse population, and resilient economic environment. 

Who has inspired you most in your life and why?
My mother.  She is the most resilient person I know and instilled the core values that I hold dear and that motivates me every day.
How has working in Houston set you up for success? 
I have become my whole self in Houston. I fully discovered by potential here and the opportunities I’ve had for leadership and growth have been boundless. 

How do you approach leadership? 
I saw an Instagram post from a leadership group recently that said “somebody asked me what am I going to do when I make it to the top. I said reach my hand back down for the rest.” This sums up my leadership style. The ultimate responsibility of a leader is to build new leaders. 

What role do you see companies like HP playing in the digital revolution of Houston’s core industries such as life sciences and energy? 
Digital transformation is all the buzz right now as companies and organizations shift towards the use of more cyber-physical systems. Whether it is Houston’s core industries such as energy and life sciences or any industry, security and privacy are of top concern to decision-makers. HP is at the forefront of this digital revolution and has a series of security solutions that will enable secure environments for enterprises.
How do you hope to use this win to help further your professional goals?
I hope this tremendous honor further demonstrates my leadership abilities and results. However, beyond that, I hope this inspires the next generation’s leaders to dream big and pursue their passions. 

What are your top 3 favorite places or experiences in Houston?
-University of Houston, my alma mater. Go Coogs! 
-Downtown Houston (where I live), especially the Market Square Park area and any rooftop bar and restaurant.
-Museum District

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