The Roberts file Featured

7:00pm EDT February 28, 2007

Place of birth: Southampton, England

Education: Two bachelor’s degrees, California State University, San Bernardino; master’s degree, business administration, University of California, Riverside

First job: Salesman with IBM

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

Ted Smith, founder of FileNet. He’s an innovator, an entrepreneur, and because of the view he has of giving back to the community. Tom Watson Sr. and Tom Watson Jr., both CEOs of IBM who basically invented a new industry. Steve Jobs, because of his innovation and his ability to come back to Apple and reinvent the company.

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?

Never give up. You’ve got to have the courage of your convictions.

What is your favorite business book?

“The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu

What three characteristics are most valuable for a CEO?

Strategic thinking, the ability to build a great team and communications skills. You can be really smart, but if you can’t articulate it, you’re in trouble, and if you can’t build the right team, you won’t succeed.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I’d like to think that I’m somewhat consensus-driven, but also a little autocratic. In the world we live in, the ability to make a rapid decision and execute those decisions maniacally is very important, but it’s also important to do those things to get people to buy in and join you.