A discussion on Championing an Innovative Culture & Embracing Disruptive Ideas in a Global Corporation with Maria Bartiromo, Beth Comstock, and Anjali Joshi.
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Maria Bartiromo is anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell” and anchor and managing editor of the nationally syndicated “Wall Street Journal Report,” the most watched financial news program in America. In 1995, Bartiromo became the first journalist to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on a daily basis. She has covered Wall Street for 20 years and has won two Emmy Awards. Bartiromo is the author of several books, including The Weekend That Changed Wall Street, and The 10 Laws of Enduring Success. Bartiromo writes a monthly column for USA TODAY.
Beth Comstock leads GE's growth and market-innovation initiatives, as well as the sales, marketing and communications functions. She is responsible for GE-wide business platforms ecomagination, dedicated to environmental innovation and healthymagination, focused on developing better health outcomes.
Previously she served as President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal where she oversaw ad sales, marketing and research, and led the company's digital media development and distribution, including the formation of hulu.com, Peacock Equity and the acquisition of ivillage.com.
In 2003, she was named GE's first Chief Marketing officer in more than 20 years introducing the ecomagination platform, as well as a new innovation pipeline and the "imagination at work" brand campaign.
Comstock held a succession of roles at GE, NBC, CBS and Turner Broadcasting. She is a member of Nike's Board of Directors and Trustee president of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Comstock is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.
Anjali Joshi is an accomplished technology executive who has held significant leadership positions in high-growth companies. She is a currently a Director of Product Management at Google where she leads groups focused on the software, network and computing infrastructure, translation products and internationalization/localization of Google products. Most recently, she has been integral in managing Google's Fiber to Communities effort, which will ultimately bring ultra high-speed broadband access to as many as 500,000 people across the United States.
Prior to joining Google, Anjali was Executive Vice-President of Engineering at Covad Communications, the first DSL Competitive Carrier in the US and helped the company grow from a start-up to a public company. Anjali spent several years at Bell Labs working in the areas of voice and high speed data communications. Anjali received her BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Kanpur, a Masters in Computer Engineering from SUNY and a Masters in Engineering Management from Stanford University. She was recently selected as one of the top 50 alumni who have graduated from IIT Kanpur in the last 50 years. She is on the board of the IIT Kanpur Foundation and has served as a board member of TiE, Silicon valley.
Anjali Joshi, Director of Product Management at Google, explains the company's informal "20 percent time" initiative. Under this system, Google employees are free to devote about one day per week to a project they feel passionate about, regardless of whether it relates to their usual job duties.
How does a 130-year-old company remain innovative? CNBC's Maria Bartiromo asks GE SVP Beth Comstock to explain how to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit in a large, well-established company. By using a "pipeline process" and establishing clear frameworks, Comstock explains how GE stays on the cutting edge.
Major U.S. corporation and one of the largest companies in the world. Its products include electrical and electronic equipment, plastics, aircraft engines, medical imaging equipment, and financial services. The company was incorporated in 1892, acquiring all the assets of the Edison General Electric Co. (founded as Edison Electric Light Co. by Thomas Alva Edison in 1878) and two other electrical companies. The company established a research laboratory in 1900, and many of its later products, including various home appliances, were developed by in-house scientists. In 1986 GE purchased the RCA Corp., including its television network, NBC. GE's headquarters are in Fairfield, Conn.
What a great perspective to compare strategic innovation between two iconic companies; one a decade old and one a century old. Beth did a great job in defining GE's strategy, but I was somewhat disappointed in Anjali's answers being quite general and vague. But this can be explained simply by looking at the positions of the two: Beth is senior VP, which is a very strategic position compared to Anjali's. Vic Gundotra of Google would've been in better position for this interview. But one thing is clear: GE is focused on marketing innovation; Google is focused on product innovation, hence explaining the difference in their approach to innovation.