EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Northern California Awards

Large Companies

nca_eoy_AmirDanRubinAmir Dan Rubin
president and CEO
Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Amir Dan Rubin’s parents raised him to understand the importance of giving back to the community. Those values are what motivated him to pursue a career in health care.
He started working for a health care consulting firm, then became CFO of a teaching hospital and eventually was named COO at UCLA health system.
When Rubin became president and CEO of Stanford Hospital & Clinics in January 2011, the economy was slow and the health care industry experienced a decline in volume. He worked on rearticulating the hospital’s vision, with a message of “healing humanity through science and compassion one patient at a time.” Stanford patient experience scores rose from the 46th percentile nationally to the 95th percentile in patient satisfaction.
Recognizing that the hospital system was playing not to lose, he saw a need to adapt to change and take risks. Those included building a new hospital, adding regional cancer centers and a new neuroscience center that will have 27 specialties.
Rubin also sought improvements in network of care, covering accessibility, wait times, quality and access; population care, taking a proactive approach to prevent sickness; and virtual care — Stanford was an early adopter of electronic medical records.
He wants Stanford to be the leading academic health system with a goal of healing humanity. The system is doing more on a global level through training, sending CT scans and MRI machines to impoverished countries.
Stanford is involved in a number of medical missions and has one of the leading response teams for global disasters, which responded to crises in Haiti and the Philippines. Stanford opened an office in Beijing and is exploring opportunities in India and the Middle East.
Rubin believes, “Stanford’s role is to innovate, to pioneer, to try the new models and to create those next levels of innovations.”


Ken Kannappan
director, president and CEO

When he took over as Plantronics CEO in 1999, Ken Kannappan walked into a company that made good products — the company provided headsets for astronauts who landed on the moon.
Plantronics designs, manufactures and markets lightweight communications headsets, telephone headset systems and accessories for a wide range of markets. Founded in 1961, the company has won several awards for its originality, innovative technology, style of management and environmental stewardship.
Through Kannappan’s leadership, the company has continued to innovate and has received the recognition it deserves. Plantronics was chosen as an Innovation and Design Award honoree by Envisioneering for the new Voyager Edge headset, a high-performance Bluetooth earpiece.
Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry honored Plantronics with an Award for Corporate Excellence for corporate citizenship, exemplary employment practices, environmental stewardship and innovative business practices.
Kannappan personifies the business theme “noiseless communication,” silently providing leadership and being well-liked by all. He transformed the company’s culture and work environment — more than 90 percent of employees consistently report high levels of satisfaction. He believes that bad managers monitor employees all the time while good managers communicate a clear and exciting goal, point the way and let them run.
Plantronics takes an “outside-in” approach where customer pain points are identified and researched, with solutions focused on solving problems.
Under his leadership, Plantronics has been early to market, with industry-leading products with capabilities such as Bluetooth technology or unified communications.
Kannappan is passionate about giving back to the community, and is an active supporter of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County. His concern about the environment is manifested across the company, with more than 70 percent of the energy used by Plantronics worldwide coming from solar installations.


Paul Segre
president and CEO

Genesys CEO Paul Segre recognized that the company was at a crossroads and was losing its edge in the contact center market after being acquired by Alcatel-Lucent in 2002. It had virtually no cloud presence, and was unable to fund its development.
Segre realized that Genesys would either continue as a niche player or would need to take a new, disruptive course. In 2012, he led a leveraged buyout and set about an aggressive growth strategy that included seven acquisitions.
Genesys now has more than 3,500 customers in 80 countries and orchestrates more than 100 million customer interactions every day. The company has also moved from on-premises solutions to generating revenue from the cloud.
The Genesys management team is comprised of veterans with 15 or more years of experience and newly hand-picked members who were hired as part of the company’s transformation. The company has a coach for its management team who helps with communications, collaboration and management. He also leads a two-day staff meeting each month where key decisions are discussed and formalized.
Segre believes that when businesses fail, it is most often because people were unable to work as a team. Genesys looks for employees who want to learn and grow, and molds them into teams through a management system centered on coaching employees for success.
The company also has more than tripled its education budget.
Segre has never liked to get into a comfort zone, preferring to reinvent his roles and responsibilities. That transitioned him from being a systems engineer to becoming a successful CEO.
He places high value in process benchmarking, quality and data driven decision-making. His leadership is evidenced in the company values of “living customer experience every day,” “creating customer success,” “innovating in all we do” and “having fun.” ?