tv Studio 1.0 Bloomberg March 27, 2016 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT
♪ emily: she is considered one of the most powerful woman in silicon valley. starting her career at motorola three decades ago. seeing the rise of the famous raise their cisco phone. she became cisco's -- she became first ceo. after seven years there, she is taking a job at the chinese electric car start up nextev, aiming to take on the auto industry, tesla, and a crowded market of car competitors among
from apple to google. joining me now, padmasree warrior, nextev's usa ceo. thank you for joining us. padmasree: it is a joy to be here. emily: what is it like being ceo for the first time? padmasree: it is a lot of fun. i would say most of my time, these days, is recruiting talent. i feel like i have two dinners, meeting candidates. i have been getting amazing talents into our company. most of the time i also spend on the strategy. thinking about what the product should be about. emily: let me rephrase slightly. what is it like being a first time ceo when your competitor is elon musk? [laughter] padmasree: it is fun. it is still fun. i have a lot of respect for him,
i have said this before, and tesla. anetimes we give credit to individual, it is more all of theneople at tesla who left tesla from the early days and are still there, building amazing products. company, they have changed three things profoundly. first, it was the first company an electric mainstream vehicle. were seent, most ev's as toy cars. tesla, i give them credit for making a serious vehicle. softwarethey made it a platform. and the third change was they made it a c to a b company. emily: do you follow you elon?
padmasree: i do not. , and i thinkel s about all the different things so i have eight different perspective on it. our vision is different from tesla's. not necessarily to build an electric car, it is to optimize the experiences about it. emily: what can be better about the model s? padmasree: it is a great car for california and the driver. x could behe ui and u better. and the screen is underutilized. emily: you see a market tesla does not address. what does it look like? padmasree: china first. the market is growing for ev's there. driven by the incentives that the government is giving, but beyond that, there is more
consumer buying power, looking at buying automobiles. and the family size is getting bigger because they have gone away from the one child policy. ,mily: so the founder of nextev william li, he pledged to build an electric supercar of sorts. padmasree: supercar is different. we will unveil it at the end of the year. in addition, we are looking at mass-market vehicles for china. that will be in the market soon after. emily: when will we see nextev's in the u.s.? padmasree: stay tuned. emily: here are on the list of the most powerful woman in the world and certainly in technology. after you left cisco, i you had venture capitalists knocking on your door. you were talked to for the twitter ceo job. i would love to know more about your process, what you are, and
how you ended up with nextev. idmasree: when i left cisco, was not leaving cisco. i was looking for the next adventure. my focus was not to get away something but to run -- but to run to something that was exciting. i feel there are times in the technology industry lifecycle that big changes are happening. right now is one of those times. i wanted to be at the beginning of a massive change rather than in the middle. i was interested in the transportation and in education. haveof these industries not gone through change. i met william. over breakfast, we were talking about how the auto industry has a huge potential for change. i got excited with his vision. it is aligned with my thinking. emily: what attracted you to him? thirdree: this is the
startup he is doing. he is a consumer internet entrepreneur. he understands the pacing with which those companies move. he has an understanding of the automobile market place in china. and he believes in building a company that is rooted in core values. all of these things are similar to my aspirations. i want to build a global company. i always considered myself a global citizen. i believe the companies that succeed are those that have deep values. i am passionate about creating that. there is a lot of similarity in my thinking and vision. emily: what was it like being a female engineer in 1984? ♪
more about you and how you got here. you grew up in southern india. tell me about your upbringing. padmasree: i grew up in a small town in southern india. it is probably a big town now. my father was a lawyer. my mom was a math major but stayed home to take care of us. i was always interested in math and science growing up. curious,ay i was a troublemaking, precocious child. i would do experiments at home. i would drive my mom crazy. one time, i wanted to see what would happen if you melted plastic. dish only lit a plastic fire. i am terrified now to think i did this. it like being a young girl interested in studying stem in india? was there a is tension between
boys and girls? padmasree: not so much in education, but in engineering. science was different from engineering. there was not much, i would say, encouragement -- there were not many women engineers. there were a lot of women and girls studying science. so i wanted to be a physicist. i joined my undergrad degree, started as a physics major, and switched after one year to engineering. that was unusual. i have to give my father credit. he encouraged me to pursue being an engineer. i called him and said i want to be an engineer because i want to see how things work. and is when i switched went to a hard-core -- emily: the indian institute of technology. padmasree: it is pretty hard-core. one of the top engineering and science universities. to, there were very
few women. i went to the campus in new delhi. there were five women in a class of 250. it was intimidating. after the first week, i called my family and said i want to come home. emily: what did they say? padmasree: i got sympathy from my mom. she said if you are not happy,, home. because it was at the other end of the country. it was a different language that was spoken there. a dead not speak hindi. emily: telugu? padmasree: yes, i grew up speaking telugu. in new delhi, the language most spoken was hindi. i did not speak hindi. it was almost like moving to a different country. got more love and encouragement and sympathy from my mom. i got a lot of love for my dad, but i got tough love. he told me you are not coming home yet. you chose your path and it is up to you to make the journey
interesting. i always remember that quote. it is something i feel is still with me. emily: then you went on to cornell to get a masters in chemical engineering. padmasree: correct. i came to the u.s. to do my and a one-way100 ticket. that is all i had. actually, a suitcase full of books, because they were cheaper to buy in india than the u.s. i came to do my phd. my plan was to finish my phd and then go back and teach at iit. that was my journey. but then i started working in the u.s. and stayed. emily: what was it like transitioning into the workforce? padmasree: that was interesting. i started working in the semi conductor industry in arizona. my first job was at motorola semiconductor. it was a great company back then. i learned a lot. i became a manager early on in
my career. became a leader of people, which i think i naturally gravitated to. i led a team of engineers and decided to pursue more management and leadership roles in engineering. emily: what do you think is your defining legacy there? razr was: doing the amazing. it changed the phone into something that had personality. people loved it. it was a high for the company. i worked with the then cmo. we came up with the "hello, moto" campaign. it was an integration of amazing andgn, marketing, engineering. that was the highlight of my career. what i got frustrated about was the fact that we could not transition the company to move to a smart phone. we had amazing technologists working, but our business model
was not where the brand was close to consumers. because we were selling phones to carriers and were removed from the consumer experience. and apple, a consumer company, much more close to how users would like to use their devices, created the iphone and optimized their expenses around that, which is the shift to the mobile internet. one ofmotorola is not the big brands. so that transition was there. emily: i want to go back to 1984. it was a big year for the mac. also a year that some people when computers started be marketed more towards men. and women in computer science courses started dropping. what was it like being a female engineer in 1984? padmasree: it was a rarity.
it was one of those things where -- it was sort of a mixed review. i felt a deep kinship to other women engineers. to this day, i feel it has shaped who i am, as a woman leader and women engineering leader in the tech industry. i think the other thing it brought to light, i would say, is important to have self-confidence. people notice you. these things either i learned them because i had to survive tough environments, i learned them because it was the only way to work, i do not know. that it has been a profound life lesson. emily: do you think that is something that set you apart from other women who were doing it? obviously, you survived. padmasree: i cannot say whether
they did or did not. it helped me. todate, i feel like i need give back and help women, especially women engineers. do ilook for advice like stay, what are the things i need to do? not have a lot of that back then, because there was no one reaching out and sharing their experiences. i wish i had that. emily: did you ever feel that you have to act like a man to be successful? padmasree: when i first joined the workforce, people would not take me seriously because i either looked too young, was too young, i wore a right -- bright colors -- emily: i have seen you wearing saris. colors.e: i love bright so i had to hide those away my first few years working. i would wear black and gray.
i wore sneakers -- i loved shoes and could not wear them. i had all of these things that nothing to doere with my job. i was afraid of who i was, who i wanted to be. i absolutely do that. when i became cto for motorola, i went to the extreme extent -- i would color my hair gray just so i would look older, can you believe it? [laughter] emily: did you ever feel like you were treated unfairly? padmasree: i do feel like -- people, i think, do not expect you to be confident, somehow. there is always this doubt. people are always skeptical. i have had situations where people are skeptical of my title or what i am doing because i am a woman. it is not late or over it. but i did sense it. emily: is it fair for me to ask you how you balanced your work and family life? padmasree: i think it is fair to
ask anyone that question, both men and women. men who have young children go through the same thing. the challenge is if you are a parent, how do you balance having a career and a family? i feel like the word "balance" somehow suggest everything has to be perfect. perfect, has to be your work has to be perfect. i use the word "integration." out what isfigure important to you and figure out the aspects important to you. about timewas young, i was running a factory. i had operational responsibility 7/24. be constantly stressed out. i learned i needed to take time for myself. now, i meditate every day. that is my time for myself. i paint, when i can, saturdays
what is your assessment of the state of women in silicon valley today, whether startups?tech, vc, in many ways, there is small progress and in other ways it has taken steps backwards. padmasree: it is disappointing. we have not made any progress. we need to make a lot more. it is heartening to hear people talk about it more openly. it is ok to say it is a problem. people are acknowledging it is a problem and figuring out what we need to do.
but i do not think we have seen any results or movement yet. emily: why have we not seen progress yet? padmasree: i do not know. i do not know if we are just saying things that are not doing things to change. maybe it is an opportunity for us to work together to give out how to address this. at microsoft, intel, qualcomm, when i was at cisco. perhaps we need to think, as an industry, what we need to do. emily: you have an opportunity build a diverse workforce from the ground up. the are you doing to build culture and a strong company from the beginning? padmasree: i already hired my first woman engineer. she joined two days ago. she is amazing. the head of corporate development is a woman. a stanford grad.
she joined a few days ago. my is now on my staff and leadership team. i will continue to do that. i want to have a very diverse also have more women, but -- the team i want to build, i wanted to be multicultural. multiple domains. i want to get people from the auto industry, people not from the auto industry, to work together. and multi generational. emily: nextev has a big challenge. you are trying to break into a market where tesla exists, but automakersitional holding electric cars. then you have apple and google trying to get in. uber. how will nextev stand out? manysree: it is good so companies are getting into the electric vehicle market. it is an old industry. the auto industry is almost 100
years old. it is a sign transition will happen. ces, therey saw at was a lot of talk about auto. it is unusual for companies to the bellman at a consumer electronics show. it reminded me how cell phone companies were talking at the consumer electronics show. so the change that will have been in the auto space will probably be in the right direction. some companies will focus on autonomous driving. some on creating an ev. on creating a vehicle that is more affordable. not just super expensive for a certain class of people. emily: how affordable is it? padmasree: more affordable than a tesla. emily: is that $50,000? less? padmasree: we have not disclose the price yet, but it will be
more affordable. secondly, bring all of the mobile internet thinking in. optimize the experience of what you would do with a car, the services that would be delivered on the mobile internet. bringing the transition in the computer world with mobile and cloud into the fact the vehicle will be an ev. combining the two, that is what we are focused on. emily: are you going to work on autonomous driving vehicles? padmasree: we will, but that is not the central piece. emily: the model s does have autonomous features. what do you think of it? padmasree: it is a great thing. some of these advanced features will become standard over time. a few years ago, abs and remote door entry were new stuff. now, most cars have that.
it is not really about one feature or technology, but how do you optimize the experience around the car. are,ar should know who you what your preferences are. it should know i prefer to take 280 and not 101, because every time i drive from where i live to san francisco, that is the route i take. it should learn this. this is thinking from the mobile internet space. emily: first of all, how do you see the market for self driving cars playing out? when is this mainstream? will my kids never have to drive themselves? padmasree: it will be here sooner than we think. there is a regulation battle that companies are fighting. , yourutonomous driving kids will probably see that. we will see it soon. emily: how do you see the audit industry being different 20 years from now? will the big players be google,
, or will it, nextev be gm, ford, toyota? i am not saying those companies will disappear, but will we see a different hierarchy? padmasree: you will see newer players that will be significant players. it is a big industry. it will never be a winner takes all industry. the valuen to cars, chain itself will change. so it will become more of a itsumer-driven product then is today. there will be other new players, perhaps, and some of the old players will figure out how to change themselves. emily: padmasree warrior, thank you so much for joining us. ♪