Barbara Robidoux's curiosity defines who she is, what she's about, and why she's successful at EMC. One tip-off is her education at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a school recognized as a leader in entrepreneurial management education, a logical choice for a marketing executive focused on the why of people's behaviors.
“A former manager once told me that people who know how will always work for people who know why,” she says.
Robidoux doesn't think her background in classic, high-tech marketing is unusual where she majored in marketing (“Okay, maybe that's a bit unusual,” she says) before going on to get her M.B.A.
Joining EMC 16 years ago was another step in satisfying her curiosity streak, just when the company was beginning to invest in UNIX, client systems, and open sourcing.
“The company was big enough to have money to invest, but small enough that I could make a difference and move up the ranks. I was interested in problems the company was trying to solve and why people were buying from us—these are invaluable conversations to have with customers, partners, and prospects,” says Robidoux.
What keeps a curious person like Robidoux interested and challenged working with the same company for almost two decades?
“A big piece of the EMC puzzle is the reinvention of what the company stands for and our culture of Everything Must Change. What we all work on year after year, by itself, provides a fair ...