Born: Oakland, Calif.
Education: Bachelor of science degree, ocean engineering, U.S. Naval Academy; graduated from the Program for Management Development from Harvard Graduate School of Business
What’s the best business lesson you’ve learned?
Running a company to a real set of core values that are believed in and practiced and rewarded builds tremendous trust throughout the company and with the customer. With high trust, the ability to work together with the customer for mutual success is greatly enhanced.
What has been your greatest business challenge?
My biggest challenge would have been my two-year assignment to work as a vice president of customer service and operations in Japan. The business practices were very different, and the culture is very different. How to be a leader as a Westerner in an Asian culture was very challenging.
What was your first job?
At the age of 12, I was a newspaper delivery boy for the San Francisco Chronicle.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a professional athlete when I was very young, then an oceanographer like Jacques Cousteau or a national park ranger.
What’s your favorite board game and why?
When I was very young, I loved to play Chutes and Ladders because I loved the opportunity to climb the ladder fast while the risk of a slide could wipe out your progress at any time. I was generally lucky at the roll of the dice and usually won, so that is probably why I liked it, as well.
As an adult, I liked to play Risk, as it was a game where strategy comes into play as the dominate factor in winning as opposed to just pure luck.