CRN: Describe your job...
I am responsible for OEM and distribution sales at Fujitsu.
What was your first job?
When I was at school I worked as a waiter at weekends.
How much did it pay and was that fair?
I was paid the princely sum of £1.20 an hour. It wasn’t a fair wage, but I made up the difference in tips.
Who’s the worst boss you ever had?
I will not name names, but he spent most of the time telling people how good he was and what he was going to do, rather than what he had actually done and achieved.
How did you get into IT?
My first IT-related job was as a development engineer at ICL in its peripheral products division where I was responsible for selecting hard disc drives and controllers.
Do you have any IT qualifications?
I have a BSc Hons in Electronic Engineering.
Have you ever written a computer program?
My first computer program calculated and listed the football league tables and was written in Algol 68.
What would you have done if you hadn’t gone into IT?
Without a doubt I would have been a professional tennis player, but of course I found disc sales more lucrative.
What do you inspire most in colleagues: trust, fear, respect or jealousy?
Some of each is always appropriate, but I believe it is essential to inspire trust in order for a group to work as a team.
Which IT multinational would you like to run?
Cisco. It is a company that has so much potential if it can leverage its existing solutions into new sales in new areas, such as storage and portable information management.
Which is the most dynamic and inspiring IT vendor?
Fujitsu of course – but I also admire Apple, which is capable of reinventing itself and of creating new markets such as the iPod.
Is the US inherently more entrepreneurial than the UK?
Not really, but they do have easier access to venture capital funds and their higher education institutions are more product orientated than the UK.
Should the euro be abolished?
Not at all. I believe it is a great success and will replace the US dollar as the main world currency.
Can you be too rich?
Definitely. I know several people who are too rich and feel sorry for them as they have no quality of life.
Which is your favourite city?
San Francisco. It has a moderate climate, it’s close to the beach, close to the mountains and is also close to the wine country.
Which technological development will affect your business most in the next few years?
The adoption of data on the move. More and more portable storage will be required.
Why is CRN your favourite IT publication?
Are there any others?
What could Gordon Brown do to help the UK IT industry thrive?
He could increase the tax incentives to businesses to encourage them to invest more in IT products. Give more tax breaks to companies investing in R &D facilities in the UK.
Is distribution doomed?
Not at all. It just needs to focus on where its value-add is and excel in those areas.
What is the best deal you’ve ever done?
I sold the first Xiotech Storage Area Network solution in Germany. I remember this as my most satisfying deal as it was a David-and-Goliath situation in that Xiotech had no support infrastructure in Germany and we were up against the might of HDS, Hewlett-Packard and EMC, yet we still won the deal.
How far would you go to get your way at work?
Everything short of lying. I always find a way to get from A to B even if I have to go via Z to get there because the direct path is blocked.
Which is more satisfying: money or power?
It is down to ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ I guess. Once you have sufficient money then power becomes more satisfying.
What’s a better status symbol: a car or a boat?
Definitely a car, as it is difficult to turn up in Megeve, St Anton or Verbier in a boat.
Would you rather have a cool house in the country or a top city penthouse?
I would rather have the cool house in the country, but it has to be less than 30 minutes drive of a city.
Is there a future for the indirect channel?
Definitely. There will always be value-add for various market segments. As a minimum there is always value-add for logistics and financial fulfilment.
Is there a future for an independent UK IT industry?
Definitely. We have enough differences from our American and European cousins and should not rule out the fact that we can compete on technology when motivated to do so.
‘Golf is a good walk spoiled.’ Do you agree, and why?
In my case it is a very long walk, eight miles to the average four, but I do like the game, although I only play it once or twice a year.
Does a strong pound help or harm your business?
A strong pound hinders my UK customers’ ability to compete on a global scale.
Would you rather be McNealy, Gates or Ellison?
Without a doubt Gates as he is in charge of the strongest brand and can take it into more exciting markets.
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