Wednesday, January 4, 2006

New Year, and a meeting with the CEO

Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays went well.  I'm still recovering from family overload ;-)...  Just prior to the holidays, I'd gotten an invitation to meet one-on-one with Tod Nielsen, Borland's new CEO.  Tod had a stated goal to have 100 one-on-one meetings with individuals throughout the company within the first 100 days of becoming CEO.  I immediately asked to be one of those 100.  Yesterday, Jan 3rd, 2006, was my meeting with Tod.

First off, it was a relatively short meeting, only about 50 minutes.  This was a “getting to know you” kind of meeting, which is much more than I can say about past CEO's and their interest in broad aspects of the company.  I was impressed with his promptness and his clear respect for my time as I respected his.  He's already moved into his office and has put his personal touch on it in the form photos on the walls and other personal items.  One photo was of him and Bill Gates on stage at some launch or presentation event.  That's cool.  Of course there are the obligatory family photos.  Didn't take him long to establish a presence.

I can really only relate my impressions of Tod since the content of the meeting was largely just some personal chit-chat along with other Borland internal issues, ideas, and concerns.  None of which need to, nor should, be divulged.  I tried to keep my answers to his questions long enough to convey what I wanted to say, but short enough to not be rambling on... I think I may have rambled once or twice, but not to an extreme.  Tod listened intently and was not distracted or rushed which really made the whole thing much more comfortable.  This was a chance for both of us to size each other up.  I think I made a good impression... we'll see.

The one thing that really stood out about this meeting and about Tod was that he seemed to know and understand the dynamics of the Delphi market.  He understood the challenges we face and that we have a very loyal and committed customer base.  He's keenly interested in looking at what it would take to grow the Delphi market.  He's also not here with all the answers but is willing to work with us to find the answers.  The arrogance meter barely wiggled!  The confidence meter, however, was pegged.

Again, time will certainly tell, but my initial impressions are very favorable and positive... now comes the hard part; doing the work and getting Highlander out the door over the next release cycle.  Growing the Delphi market is going to be a difficult challenge in and of itself, but I hope to take a good solid crack at it.  One thing that can go a long way to ensure Delphi's continued growth and success is to tell all your friends about all the good stuff you like in Delphi 2006, and tell us (Borland) about all the stuff we need to make better.  I still firmly believe that Delphi/C++Builder market is exactly as I said in this posting from last year.  I'm encouraged to find that our CEO seems to think the same thing.