tv The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations Bloomberg April 21, 2018 9:00am-9:29am EDT
>> at>> one point your father left her mother. >> my mother found herself with four kids, no money. we are the champions for business. >> when you're meeting with president trump or other --sidents >> my experience is people a especially honest. >> women need role models we are still a small minority that run these companies. i do box with a person the differences he does not get hit me. >> leave it this way.
i don't consider myself a journalist. else would consider myself a journalist. i began to take on the life of an interviewer even though i have a day job running a private equity firm. leadership?efine what is it that makes somebody k?ic we wake up you say look at all that i've achieved and i'm incredibly proud of what i've done or i've got to deal every day with critics? .> what a way to start i don't think i have either of those thoughts on that first day. i think i just thought about what an honor it was and what responsibility it is. people forget ibm is 106 years old. you do get that feeling of you
wake up feeling you are a steward of something. >> at some point when i was growing up ibm was the dominant technology company in the world. >> it still is, david. >> do you think it still has the strength in the computer world it had in the 60's? >> ibm is great but for a reason you did not mention. i think the greatness of a technology company is if you can reinvent yourself over and over. we'll watch and see. once, twice, but with three or four or five times. this is a competitive industry we are in. it is one thing to have technology. it is another to have the know-how on how to use it. i feel what has made us distinctive and why we have gone through product i think the one silver thread is we really do help change the way the world
works and i go back to the beginning in time. ibm started -- it was not ibm at the time. of the mainframe which was the back office. it reinvented itself again into software and services and we reinvent ourselves again. i to me, the art of reinvention in the dna is what makes it unique. david: let's talk about your background. you grew up in chicago. you have three sisters. >> two sisters and a brother. david: three siblings. at one point your father left her mother and your mother was college educated at the time. how did she support water children? >> i continue to learn a lot from my mom but i get my mom a lot of credit for all four of us. i was in my early teens when my
dad chose to leave. it was son. my mother found herself with four kids, soon to be no home, no food. i learned -- she was so intense. not letting other people to find who she was. she had to go on food stamps. we had to get help. that is what entitlement programs in this country are for -- are for anyways. she learned a profession. she became head of the administration for the fleet clinic in chicago. us.om really taught the lesson i learned is never let someone else define who you are. david: you are the babysitter.
ginni: i've been to pta meetings, bugle lessons. i didn't get paid. i probably should go some that up. david: you had a scholarship to go to northwestern? ginni: i did. my brothers and sisters all. my mom said -- we also my mom never complained that we watched by what she did. i've three brothers and sisters have been incredibly successful. that really is that work ethic my mom and still. -- my mom instilled in us. i did have a scholarship as we all looked for ways to do that and put ourselves through school. david: does your mother call you until you how great you're doing or does she say your siblings are doing just as well? ginni: she calls me and talks about all the things a normal mother talks about. -- this pasthing easter she was at my house and i
was having to leave in the middle of the day to get to the airport and my mom says, before you leave i have your annual report. i've written you a set of notes on it. great i'm going to get a report card from my mother on this annual report. the first thing i mom does is she looks at the pictures. , i loved this annual report. i understand what ibm does. it was 50 short vignettes about how the world in professions and industries change because watson, about ai, cloud computing, and how it will make life better. .y mom goes, now i understand yet comments about the look and paper type in other things. did you give these comments to your colleagues back ibm? ginni: i gave them all. i have a large retail shareholder base.
david: you had a scholarship from general motors i -- you are not required but you thought you should work there. ginni: wonderful programs from companies in this day and age. an effort to get women and minorities and businesses. at that time general motors had a program which was they went to what were some of the best schools, if i could get you a deal, i will pay your tuition, room and board. a professor said to me you ought to look at this program. in r return, worked there during the summers otherwise no strings attached. when i graduated i did feel a sense of obligation to first go to gm. i had other offers but to go to gm i was a computer science and engineering degree. david: for the many women taking those courses at northwestern? ginni: i was probably the only
woman in many of the classes. david: you have an opportunity to go to a company called ibm. ginni: this long thought out of your -- career plan. i like what i was doing, i i likefelt because technology. it was this idea to apply to different industries. it was as simple as my husband said i have a friend and his dad works for ibm, when we just call him? . etiquette was my husband to set the interview of -- i think it was my husband to set the interview. i went to the interview and i was hired. i started out as assistant engineer. insurance. banking, i have many experiences to my years. i remember i've gone into consulting cylert a lot of things and it was time to do another job. forstory i tell is i worked
a gentleman, very good mentor. he said i'm going to get a new job and you are going to get my job but you have to go for an interview. you are one of the candidates. i thought i'll go to the interview and tells me all about the job and i'm sitting there and i think i'm not sure i'm ready for this yet. just a little more time and i would be ready and i said to him i like to talk it over. give me overnight to think about it and i went home and my husband is sitting there and as usual i say i'm talking and talking and he's like -- i tell them about this interview. he goes you think a man would've answered the question that way. i went in the next day and took the job immediately. mentor who had been my
suggested to me don't do that again. i said i understand. it formed this basis that i think has guided my whole career . growth and comfort never coexist . you have got to get really comfortable with being uncomfortable. it's when you learn the most. david: did you begin to think there was a chance that you could be the ceo? did you think ibm would never make a woman a ceo? ginni: and never entered my mind that aid -- that ibm would make a choice based on gender. the most inclusive company i've known. when you interview others -- i was told you do great in your current job and earn the right to the next job. david: when meeting with president trump or other presidents use -- do you see ceos saying mr. president that is not a very good idea? ginni: people are respectfully honest.
we have been working on ai for a good five years before. this gets back to the idea of if you're always moving to where you think there is value we believe there would be value in. you had to be prepared for this world to do it cost-effectively and more important you have to have technology that did not get programmed. that's the difference -- that is what watson and ai is. you don't say if this do that. every device you have has been programmed if this, do that. watson takes data of all kinds, understands, reasons, and learns over that data and that will help you make better decisions. world we think there's a market of $2 trillion in better business decisions. some of it's rooted in plain fundamental facts that when you and i make decisions you may be better at this, one third are
right, a third are not optimal in a third are wrong. it transcends everything. david: let's talk about the life of the ceo of a large company. how much time are you on the road traveling? ginni: probably 50%. david: customers are mostly interested in what? what ibm is better than somebody else? ginni: in some ways. i think many clients look at us as a bit of a mirror image. it revealed yourself round data and clouds you have to change how you do the work and you have to -- who are the people who do the work. david: how do you measure your success as ceo? visit share price? earnings-per-share? revenue growth?
what i ginni: most focused on is transforming ibm for this next a.gnitive er the milepost we put out, part of -- products and services are now 42% of ibm, $34 billion. double-digit growth. that's an order -- that is an important set of new offerings that team created. there's other things we do for clients. people forget we run the banks of the world, the airlines, the railroads. nine out of 10, 10 at 10. that is why i help them transition to the future, run their current world, transition and become the future. that is a serious obligation. some of that does not grow as fast as other pieces and the new grows fast. if anything it is how people transition era to era. as we build new businesses we
keep moving to higher value, --t is a distinct david: doesdavid: it bother you that you have more employees, more revenue, more customers around the world and companies like i assume apple or amazon or facebook but they have higher market capitalizations? does that strike you as unfair? ginni: i always want to work on higher market capitalizations. i don't feel these things are sort of a burden in that way. because we do is different. it is this combination of having technology and know-how. david: every country you visit around the world i assume if you want to meet the prime minister or president have no problem getting in to do that. ginni: but you don't abuse that. almost every government we talked to around cyber security, important issues around digital trade. the other one has been about workforce and skills create when
you look at why is there divisions between people and inequality, every time you will trace this back and it will be about skills and opportunity. david: when you're meeting with president trump or other presidents you see ceos are willing to say mr. president that is not a good idea?let me give you my thoughts ? ginni: my experience is people are respectfully honest and give their opinions. there are times with every president or prime minister that we agree or don't agree. in our case, with the paris agreement we believe those re.ricans should stay in thei issues important to our business or client. david: do you feel a responsibility as a woman ceo to mentor other women and speak out on issues related to women? ginni: you always want to be noticed and reward for what you did. your contributions.
david: you think a woman had to rise up and be better than the men? ginni: i don't do get ibm it made a difference. david: subordinate to come to you and you don't like their ideas you ever yell at them? are you more quiet about it or just tell them quietly their ideas not so good? have you let people know you're not happy? ginni: i am not a screamer. i don't ever thrown anything. i've always believed in the way to challenge things is to challenge them, to be intellectual. you need to know it you're talking about. to me, i have no trouble being the one to ask questions. i think that is the best way to challenge things. david: do you feel a responsibility as a woman ceo to mentor other women and begun on issues related to women? ginni: this is an interesting questionginni:. i have grown to be comfortable
with that role. about being a role model. i think many of my colleagues would say, maybe it is a bit -- you always want to be rewarded for your contributions. this is nothing to do with gender. 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 thing. at one point, another image that sticks out in my mind, this is maybe 15 years ago, i was down in australia giving a financial services presentation. thought i'd done an ok job of this. a couple people came up to me afterwards. i thought this man would tell me this is great or he disagrees. he looked at me and said i wish my daughters have been here.
it's funny the moments you remember. you do have to realize any of us in these positions of any kind of influence we are a role model for someone. .omen do need role models we are still a small minority that run the business is. you need role models to say that is possible. it is hard to dream to be something if you don't see other people liked this. david: are you surprised the fortune 100 or 200 companies there relatively few female ceos still? i hope by now there would be more ginni:. having there is this conscious effort -- we make a conscious effort to keep women in the workforce. there is no doubt when people -- when women have children or ailing parents there are many reasons women will come in and out of the workforce. do everything you can to keep them in, your odds are higher for the ability to keep going.
the newest benefits is shipping breastmilk for babies of mothers -- mothers and babies who are nursing. they can keep working if they want to. horseg women in the work concreting the pipeline for these roles. ceos: ibm has a history of retiring earlier than other companies. is your thinking you will do it for a bit longer? what would you do after you left as the current ceo? say i was nots going to say my age and i'm reminded its public information. it's not it will for us. -- it is not a rule for us. i'm not retiring now. my work is not done so i will still be here for quite a while. what am i going to do after? i don't even think about that now. in a staying fit category
-- ginni: does that mean i look fit? send a compliment. david: you're a golfer. ginni: i have respect for both. .- for golf i don't have the time to be very good. people sort of don't think this is funny, boxing. that is something i can do on everyday basis. david: somebody dressed up like apple or microsoft and you get to box them? ginni: i do box with a person. the difference is he does not get to hit me. i only get to hit him. david: when you are in northwestern as you look back on it, what you say is the secret of your having risen? -- i: if someone said begins this idea in constant learner.
always being willing to save yourself you don't know everything. --id: when you finally do what would you want to see is your legacy? ginni: 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 ready system that we have that impact on health care, education, making this world safer.
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