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The Top 25 Newmakers of 2006 – Number 11: Voodoo Rahul Sood

The co-owner of a speciality PC manufacturer is now playing a new game within Hewlett-Packard

To the surprise of everyone, Rahul Sood wooed Hewlett-Packard in September to buy Voodoo PC, his Calgary-based manufacturer of high-end gaming systems.

The companies had been talking since January, 2005. “We were looking for a strategic partner as a way to increase our level of innovation,” said Sood, Voodoo’s co-owner and now the chief technologist for HP’s worldwide gaming business unit.

“The one company that kept coming up was HP because of the amount of innovation they have in HP labs, spending around $4 billion in R&D. We thought it would be a good opportunity to leverage the innovation in the labs under the Voodoo brand and bring them to market quicker.”

Sood credits HP chief Mark Hurd for expediting the business deal. “In January, 2006, I e-mailed him and he moved a mountain immediately. The guy moves with a fury and makes things happen.”

Voodoo will keep its brand intact and become the nucleus for HP’s gaming and lifestyle business unit worldwide.

“The brand will have a veil of autonomy but the company is fully integrated (with HP),” said Sood. It will be “the crown jewel of HP’s portfolio.”