Meeting success head on


Robert Hagerty has only been at Polycom Inc. for 12 years, but in that time, he’s created a world-class video and audio teleconferencing company, acquired 11 companies and grown revenue 23 times over, all while keeping the company debt free.

Hagerty, who serves as chairman, president and CEO of Polycom, emphasizes always making his products more effective and more useful, setting the bar high by instituting a commitment to innovation and “best of breed” products. He also believes in listening to customers and avoiding asking them to re-engineer his product for him. He says that once the company understands the frustration of the customer, it can begin to solve the problem and make the company better.

And one problem all companies are facing now is a down economy. While it has had a somewhat adverse effect on sales, Hagerty views it as an opportunity to focus on developing Polycom’s next product. And as businesses become less willing to pay for travel expenses, he sees a potential for growth in the sales of video telecommuting equipment.

His strategy is to create lifelike remote meetings and connect people instantly. He envisions a “room of the future,” which would provide an across-the-table experience in which you can see the full body form of the person you are speaking with. His eventual goal is to create a videoconferencing room that accurately mimics the nuances of a board meeting, making it feel more like a real experience of speaking to and interacting with others. And as he leads Polycom into the future with new technologies and innovations, he remains focused on the idea of listening, responding and delivering to the customer, understanding that if this is his focus, the rest will fall in line.

His commitment to innovation has paid off, with more than 600 patents and a leadership position in the market.

How to reach: Polycom Inc., (408) 474-2265 or