The Sullivan file Featured

7:42am EDT September 22, 2006
Place of birth: Fall River, Mass.

Education:
Amherst College, bachelor of arts degree, psychology

First job: Dock supervisor

Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Fred Smith (chairman, president and CEO of FedEx). I think he’s the greatest visionary I’ve ever met.

I have a lot of respect for Jack Welch. I really admired everything he did at that company.

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
It all comes down to people. If you ever lose sight of that, you’re bound for failure. You’ve got to keep people front and center in everything you do in business, really mean it, really look out for their welfare.

What has been your toughest business challenge?
The startup of our company, given the competition, the marketplace, the funding levels we had, the unique things we were coming to market with.

Describe your leadership style.
I’m pretty aggressive in terms of how I lead. I know the business pretty well, and so I can challenge things quite often, and that can be uncomfortable for some. I’m collaborative; I want to really understand what everybody thinks about issues.