tv The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations Bloomberg August 30, 2017 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT
♪ david: at one point, your father left your mother. ginni: it was sudden, and my mother found herself with four kids, no money. david: let's talk about ibm for a moment. ginni: we are the champions for business. david: when you are meet with a president or other presidents, do you see ceos willing to say, mr. president, that is not a good idea? ginni: people are respectfully honest and give their opinions. david: do you feel a certain possibility? ginni: women do need role models. we are still a small minority that runs these companies. david: in the stay fit category. .inni: i do box with a person he does not get to hit me. [laughter] >> would you fix your tie, please?
david: people wouldn't recognize me if my tie was fixed. just leave it this way. alright. ♪ david: i don't consider myself a journalist. and nobody else would consider myself a journalist. i began to take on the life of being an interviewer, even though i have a day job of running a private equity firm. how do you define leadership? what is it that makes somebody tick? ♪ david: so, when you wake up in the morning, you say, look at all that i have achieved, i am incredibly proud of what i have done? or do you say, i have to deal everyday with critics and other things? ginni: what a way to start. [laughter] ginni: ok. i don't think i had either of those thoughts on the first day. i think on that first day, i thought about what an honor it was and what a responsibility it is. people forget that ibm is 106 years old. and so, you really do get that
feeling of -- you wake up that morning, realizing you are a steward of something. so, a different feeling. david: at some point when i was growing up in the 1960's and 1970's, ibm was the dominant technology company in the world. and it just -- ginni: still is, david. [laughter] david: ok. all right. do you think it has the same strength in the computer world it had in the 1960's? ginni: ibm is great, but for a reason that you did not mention. i think the greatness of a technology company is if you can reinvent yourself over and over. and i say, we will watch and see, because it is one thing to reinvent yourself once or twice, but to do it three or four or five times. this is a really competitive industry that we are in, and i think we do something unique. because it is one thing to have technology. it is another thing to have the know-how on how to use it. ok? i feel what has made us distinctive, while we have gone through all sorts of products, i think the one kind of silver thread is we do help change the way the world works, and i go
back to the beginning in time, i mean come away back. ibm started -- it wasn't ibm at actually at the time -- it started with meat slicers, then it was clocks tabulating, and it was an era of, as you know, the mainframe, the back office. then it reinvented itself again into software and services. and now we reinvent ourselves again. to me, that reinvention and that dna is really what makes it unique. david: let's talk about your background for a moment. you grew up in chicago and you have three sisters? ginni: two sisters and a brother. david: ok, three siblings. and at one point your father left your mother, and your mother was not college-educated at the time, so how did she support four children? ginni: i continue to learn a lot from my mom. but i give my mom a lot of credit for all four of us. as david said, my mother had a high school degree, but then
quickly have us as children right after that. i was in my early teens when my dad chose to leave. and, it was sudden. my mother found herself with four kids, no money, soon to be no home, soon to be no food. and, she did, as i said, i learned -- she was so intent on not letting other people define who she was. and we had to do some things for a short time. she had to go on food stamps. we had to get help. i mean, that is what entitlement programs in this country are for in many ways. but she went back to school. i had to help. i was the oldest. she went back to school at night and learned a profession, and as she became the head of administration for the sleep clinic at rush presbyterian in chicago. a lot of people and family, like everyone's, they pitched in. my mom really taught us. the lesson i learned is never let someone else define who you are. she would never let that situation define who she was. david: you were the
babysitter for the 3 -- ginni: i went to pta meetings, bugle lessons. david: did you get paid? ginni: no, i did not get paid. i probably should go sum that up. david: you had a scholarship to go to northwestern? ginni: i did. i'm proud of my brothers and sisters all. my mom never complained or said much, but we all watched what by what she did. they sometimes say i am the underachiever. my brothers and sisters have been incredibly successful, and that really is that work ethic my mom instilled in us. that is to me -- so when i went to northwestern -- and i did have a scholarship, because we all looked for ways to put ourselves to school. david: your mother is still alive. the chicago and tell you how great you're doing, or does she call your other siblings are doing just as well? [laughter] ginni: she calls and talks about all things normal mothers talk about, right? her biggest thing -- this is a funny story about my mom.
this past easter, she was at my house and i was having to leave in the middle of the day to get to the airport. my mom says, hey, before you leave, i have your annual report and i have written you a little set of notes on it. i am like, great, i'm going to get a report card for my mother on this annual report. doesirst thing like a mom is she looks at the pictures. but my mom says, i loved this annual report. she goes, this annual report, i understand what ibm does. and it was 50 short vignettes on little vignettes on how the world and industries have changed because of watson, ai, cloud computing, and how it will make life better. right? my mom goes, this is -- now i understand. and she had comments about the look and paper type and other things, so she gave me a report card. david: did you give these comments to your colleagues back at ibm? ginni: sure.
i did. [laughter] i gave them all. i have a large retail shareholder base. david: you graduated from northwestern. although you had a scholarship from general motors, you are not required to work at general motors, but you felt you should? ginni: yeah, this was an effort schools -- this was an effort to get women and minorities into businesses. at that time, general motors had a program where they went to the best schools and said, if i can get you, i will pay your tuition, room and board and everything. someone going to school themselves professor said to me, , a you need to look at this program. in return, work there for the summers. otherwise, no strings attached. a wonderful set of internships with them. when i graduated, i did feel a sense, a real sense of obligation to first go to gm. i had a lot of other offers, but to go to gm with the computer science and engineering degree -- david: were a lot of women taking those courses in those days at northwestern in those days? ginni: what do you think? david: not that many? ginni: no, i was probably one of the only woman in many of those
classes, even then. david: you hear of an opportunity to go to a company called ibm. ginni: it wasn't as sometimes people think that you have some think there was a long thought-out career plan. i'm sorry to tell you i had been working at general motors and while i liked what i was doing, i really felt because i liked technology, it was the idea of applying it to a lot of different industries. hand, it was as simple as my i have aaid, hey look, friend and his dad works for ibm. why don't you call him? i think it was my husband who said the interview up, to be honest with you. david: did he get a finder's fee? ginni: i am still paying that finder's fee. [laughter] ginni: i went to the interview and then i was hired. david: what area initially? ginni: i started out as a systems engineer. i worked in banking, insurance, and i had many experiences through my years. i remember i had gone into consulting, so i had learned a lot of things, and it was time to do another job. and the story i always tell is
that i worked for a gentleman, a very good mentor, and he said i to me, hey, i am getting a new job, and you are getting my job. you have to go to an interview. you are one of the candidates. go to this interview. i thought, hmm. i go to the interview and they tell me about the job and i am mind i'm notn my sure i'm ready for this. this is a big job. just a little more time and i would be ready. i said, may i go home? i would like to go home and talk it over. give me overnight to think about it. i get home and my husband is , he is sitting there and as usual, i am talking, talking and he's like mm-hmm. i tell him about this interview. i said i wanted to go home and sleep on it. he says, do you think a male man would have asked that question? i can remember it like it was yesterday. i said, no. i went in the next day, i took the job immediately.
and the man who was my mentor, who suggested it to me, he said, don't do that again. i said, i understand. it is what formed this basis for me that i think guided my career, which is growth and comfort never coexist. and you have got to get really comfortable with being uncomfortable. it is when you learn the most. david: when you started doing these things, did you begin to think there was the chance you could be the ceo? do you think ibm, like many companies, would never make a woman a ceo? ginni: no, that never entered my mind that ibm would make a choice based on gender. never. for all my time there has been there, it has always been the most inclusive company i have known. when you interview others do you think they -- i never thought about that. you do great in your current job, it earns your right in your next job. david: when you are meeting with president trump or other presidents, do you see that ceos are willing to say, mr. president, that is not a good idea, or let me give you my thoughts? ginni: in my experience, people are respectfully honest and give
♪ david: so let's talk about ibm for a moment. it is a hardware and software company, a consulting company. where would you say it really is today? ginni: keep going. [laughter] andi: when i say first off enterprise company, right? we uniquely live at that intersection of tech and business. as you said, we built over time hardware and layered it with software. we built integrated services, and we are becoming a cloud and cognitive solutions company.
there will be another sort of reinvention of ibm one day in the future again, but today it is about that. and it is not about the technology. it is cloud. it is ai. it is the why. as i say to all my colleagues, and i feel we are the champions for business. i will tell you what i mean by that. right now, if you ask me to pick one word about what ibm is reinventing around, i would take the word is data. there is gold in that data. we are on the verge of companies being able to use all that. this i to me is companies go on the offense against startups, against disruption, you do it with that data. you will need new tools, and that is where ai comes in. david: one of the tools is which are called watson. one of the tools is named watson. watson is named after -- ginni: our founder, thomas watson. david: watson got some attention because of "jeopardy." ginni: it is funny how many people still remember that. i really give us credit, if i
might, for having relit the world of ai. you asked what i did early in my career, i was an ai specialist at one time. so that would be a couple of decades ago, so it isn't like ai itself is brand-new. there are a number of things that make it different. what we did back then, it was 2011 on "jeopardy," we had been working on ai for a good five years before. this gets back to the idea if you are always moving to where you think there is value in tech, we believe there is value in this data, and you have to be prepared for this world to do it cost-effectively, and more important, you would have to have technology that did not get programmed. that is the difference with what what watson and ai is -- you don't say, if this, do that. every device you have programmed. if this, do that. somebody has to tell it what to do. your smart phone, you name it. watson takes data of all kinds,
understands, reasons, and learns over that data. and that will help you make better decisions. this is an interesting stat we i think we are sharing. in the world, we think there is a market of $2 trillion for making better business decisions. and some of it is rooted in the plane fundamental facts that when you and i make decisions -- you may be better at this, david. david: not likely. ginni: ginni: one third are right, one third are not optimal, and one third are wrong. it transcends everything. david: let's talk about the life of a ceo a large company. how much time are you on the road traveling now? ginni: probably 50%. david: customers are mostly interested in what? when you meet with them, you try to tell them why ibm is better than somebody else? ginni: no. of course, always, well, in some way. i think many clients look at us as a bit of the mirror image. i mean i hear this from them. they are like, i remember years ago they were saying to me, this wow, this is a lot of change. i remember saying, be careful, this is coming to a theater near you. this idea -- i believe our
transformation mirrors what every companies are going through. you rebuild yourself around data and cloud. you are going to have to change how you do the work and who the people are who do the work. david: how do you measure your success as ceo? is it a share price? is it earnings, earnings-per-share, revenue growth? ginni: what i am the most focused on, what the board's most focused on is transforming ibm for this next era, this next cognitive era. the milepost we put out there is as i said -- part of the portfolio is we build new products and services, which is now 42% of ibm, which is $34 billion. it has double-digit growth. that is an important set of new offerings that that team created. at the same time, there are other things we do for clients. i think people forget we run the banks of the world, the railroads of the world, airlines of the world. it is nine out of 10, 10 out of 10.
and that is why i both mirror and help them transition to the future, run their current world, transition to the future and become the future. that is a serious obligation. some of that does not grow as fast as other pieces, and the new growth is fast, but we need , if anything, is to help people transition from era to era. the measurement is as we build the new businesses and keep moving to higher value. that is our distinction. david: does it bother you that you have more employees, more revenue, more customers all over the world that companies like i assume apple or amazon or facebook, but they have higher market capitalizations? does that strike you as unfair in some ways? ginni: i always want to work on higher market capitalization. so, the unfair part -- i do not feel these things are, as you say, a burden in that way. what we do is different. it is this combination of having technology and know-how, which means you have both of those
things together. david: every country you visit around the world, i assume if you want to meet the prime minister or president, you would have no problem doing that? ginni: yeah, but you don't abuse that. there are important issues around the world. almost every government we talked to about cybersecurity, it is important to talk about things around digital trade. the other is about workforce and skills. when you look at why there is division between people and why is there inequality, every time you will trace it to skills and opportunity. that is what we have been working on. david: when you are meeting with president trump or other presidents, do you see that ceos are willing to say, mr. president, that is not a good idea, or let me give your my thought. it might be different than yours , or are they quiet? ginni: my experience is that people are respectfully honest. they give their opinions. just as there are times with every -- whether a president or a prime minister where we agree, and other times when we do not agree. in our case here as an example with the paris agreement, we
believe that america should stay in there. so we shared our viewpoints on that. the issues that are important, right, to our business and clients. david: do you feel a certain responsibility as a woman ceo to mentor other women and speak out on issues relating to women? ginni: you always want to be noticed and rewarded for what you did, your contribution. you know? i would always think, this has nothing to do with gender, almost blind to that. i really came to learn and see it is thatportant there be role models. and you have to accept that you are a role model on the appropriate things. ♪
♪ david: so do you think a woman who rose up to be the leader of ibm had to be better than the men, or you think it really didn't make a difference? ginni: i do not think in ibm it made a difference. david: people who are subordinate who come to you and tell you their ideas, do you ever yell at them, scream at them, which men more often do, or are you quiet about it and tell them their ideas are no good? how do you tell people you're not happy? ginni: i am not a screamer. never was. david: you don't throw things? something like that? ginni: i don't think i've ever thrown anything. but i have always believed in the way to challenge things is to challenge them.
it is the intellectual. i always feel, you need to know what you are talking about. to me, i have no trouble being the one to ask questions, and i think that is the best way to challenge things. david: so do you feel a certain responsibility as a woman ceo to mentor other women and speak out on issues relating to women? ginni: this is an interesting question, david, because i have grown to be comfortable as a with that role, about being a role model. because i think many of my colleagues would say, and maybe it is a bit as we came through our businesses, you always want to be noticed and rewarded for what you did, your contribution. i would always be, this has got nothing to do with gender, almost blind to that. over time, though, i came to really came to learn and see how important it is that there be role models. and you have to accept the fact that you are a role model on the appropriate things. at one point, it was
another image that sticks out in my mind. this is maybe 10, 15 years ago. i was down in australia giving a financial services presentation. i thought i had done in ok job at this. and a couple people came up to me afterwards and i thought he was going to tell me, this is great, or he disagrees. the said to me, looked at me and said, i wish my daughters had been here. it is funny the sort of moments you remember. i remember thinking -- that is why you do have to realize any of us in these positions of any kind of influence, we are a role model for someone, and women do need role models. we are still a small minority that run these companies. they need role models to say, yes, that is possible. i can be that. it is hard to dream to be something if you don't see other people like it. david: are you disappointed or surprised if you take a fortune 500 of the fortune 200 companies there are relatively few female ceos still? ginni: i would have hoped by now that there would be more by now.
i think this is a very conscious effort. we make a conscious effort. one of the biggest things is to keep women in the workforce. and so, there is no doubt when women have children, or ailing parents, there are many reasons that women will come in and come out of the workforce. one of the things you can do is do everything you can to keep both keep the men, your odds are much higher to keep going. one of our newest benefits are shipping breastmilk for mothers who are nursing so they can keep working if they want to. so this idea of keeping women in the workforce, to me, is one of the most important ways to then create the pipeline for these roles. david: ibm has a tradition of ceos retiring earlier than other companies. is your thinking that you will do it for a bit longer and what would you do after you left as current ceo? i would say well, -- i wasn't going to say my age, but then i am always reminded it
is public information. [laughter] ginni: but it is not a rule for us. it is not a steadfast rule. there has been some tradition, but i am not retiring now. my work is not done, so i will still be here for quite a while, and what i will do then? david: would you ever go into government? ginni: i don't even think about that right now. david: in the stage fit category, you are a golf -- ginni: does that mean you think i look fit? david: you are fit. ginni: thank you. that is how you get a compliment. david: you are a golfer. ginni: that does not keep you fit. my husband loves golf. i have great respect for golf as a sport. i do not have the time to be very good. and so, the other way i really do and and people don't think this is funny, i do boxing. ginni: david: boxing? ginni: that is something i can do in short spurts on an everyday basis. david: does someone dress up like apple or microsoft and you get to box them, or you don't
get to do that? [laughter] ginni: i do box with a person, . the difference is he does not get to hit me. [laughter] ginni: i only get to hit him. david: as you look back, what is your secret of having risen? ginni: i think it is this idea of being a constant learner, of always being willing to say to yourself you don't know you can learn something, from whoever. david: so when you finally leave in many years, what would you like to see as your legacy? ginni: well look, not necessarily about me, but ibm. that one more time, reinvented for the next era. uniquely positioned as this technology and know-how, and that we do change. just like it was the moonshot or the social security system, that we have had that impact on health care, on education, on making this world safer. if we help the companies of this world vote themselves reinvent and run better and have an impact on society, that is a great day. ♪
♪ 9:29 a.m. here and hong kong as we count you down to the start of the trading day here as well as shenzhen and shanghai. water we what do we have so far? revision, 3% in the second quarter, a strong and healthy gain. geopolitically speaking, tweets from donald trump saying negotiating with the north koreans is useless, bank of korea leaving interest rates on
hold at 1.25% good pmi stronger-than-expected when it comes to manufacturing in china. indian growth numbers coming up, and the all important jobs data out of the u.s. friday, and last but not least, the fallout from tropical storm harvey. haidi: absolutely. gasoline jumping for a seventh straight day. industrial production numbers out of japan and south korea, japan disappointing, south korea better than expected. no surprise from the bank of korea keeping the rate on hold. let's look at the shanghai and hong kong markets given that beat when it comes to china pmi manufacturing. sophie. economywith the chinese humming along, check out chinese stocks. .1% after0 gaining the slight fall on wednesday. the hang seng