Author of What's Holding You Back and Seduced by Success.
at improving profitability.
No one has more experience and deeper insight into how to improve a company’s profitability than Robert J. (Bob) Herbold.
During his eight years as COO of Microsoft, his disciplined approach to streamlining operations drove a seven-fold increase in profits while the company’s revenues increased four-fold. Bob can claim some considerable credit for this twofold premium in profitability. The reason:
- a genius for streamlining operations , developed during his twenty-six years at Procter & Gamble, the epitome of business discipline, where he held several senior executive positions and revolutionized product distribution;
- extraordinary experience and insight into the fundamental factors affecting performance.
He is the author of Seduced by Success: How the Best Companies Survive the 9 Traps of Winning, a guide to why—and how—your organization should constantly experiment with new ideas, processes, and business models to remain relevant.
Bob is also the author of The Fiefdom Syndrome.
Bob has a charming, commonsense speaking style and a wealth of wisdom and stories from thirty-six years in business that give his presentations immense practical value.
Seduced by Success,/font>
"The key take-away for me is this: Get a small group of people who are clearly held accountable, make it clear what you want them to do, and they will perform."
Success can be a serious business vulnerability! General Motors, IBM, Kodak, Rubbermaid—these are just a few examples of top companies that became complacent and bloated. To sustain their success, they should have been uncovering fresh approaches, improving their products and services, and staying lean and agile.
In Seduced by Success, Robert Herbold shows you and your company how to become successful and stay that way by avoiding the nine biggest success traps. The book features multiple examples of successful companies that succumbed to problems as well as examples of companies that overcame them. Here are
Neglect: Sticking with yesterday's business model
Pride: Letting products and services become second rate
Boredom: Clinging to your once successful branding
Complexity: Letting processes run the business
Bloat: Losing agility
Mediocrity: Allowing subpar performance to persist
Lethargy: Nurturing a retirement home culture
Timidity: Permitting turf battles and infighting
Vagueness: Schizophrenic communication
The Fiefdom Syndrome
With The Fiefdom Syndrome, Bob has given us a name for a phenomenon that erodes profitability in organizations of all types and sizes: the tendency of individuals, groups and whole divisions to establish, control and protect their own turf—over (and often against) the needs of the larger organization. With a proliferation of systems, bloated bureaucracies and turf wars, these fiefdoms drive up costs and drain profitability from their parent organizations.
Bob also has a clear-headed solution—simplify, centralize and standardize operations while protecting the need for creative freedom that areas like sales and product development need.
Bob honed his approach while at Procter & Gamble, the epitome of business discipline, and he’s proven its value at Microsoft, which was famously self-organized and chaotic when he joined in 1994. While there, he reorganized finance, manufacturing and distribution, information systems, human resources, purchasing, corporate marketing, market research and public relations, streamlining operations and simplifying and standardizing processes and technology platforms.
Microsoft – Procter & Gamble
Bob joined Microsoft in November 1994 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Bill Gates wanted someone who could fix all the operational "messes" at the signature home of self-organization without disturbing the creative processes that makes the firm so dominant. Until February 2001, Bob was responsible for finance, manufacturing and distribution, information systems, human resources, corporate marketing, market research, and public relations.
At Proctor & Gamble, Bob held an unusually broad portfolio of senior leadership positions including Vice President of Market Research, Chief Information Officer, and serving his last 5 years at P&G as Senior Vice President for Marketing and Information Services, where he was responsible for worldwide advertising, brand management, media and television program production, while also having the VP’s of market research and information technology reporting to him.
- Executive Vice President and COO of Microsoft retired
- Managing Director, Herbold Group, LLC
- Operating Partner of the private equity firm Thoma Cressey Bravo
- 26 years at Proctor & Gamble; positions: Vice President of Market Research, Chief Information Officer, Senior Vice President for Marketing and Information Services Senior Vice President for advertising and information services
- Corporate boards—Agilent Technologies, ICOS Corporation, Vision Solutions, and First Mutual Bank
- Nonprofit boards—The Heritage Foundation, Nanyang Technology University and the Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Hoover Institution at Stanford University
Appointed by President Bush to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; currently chairs the Education Subcommittee
- Adjunct Professor in the Business School at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore
- Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore
- President of The Herbold Foundation
- Masters in mathematics, PhD in computer science from Case Western Reserve University