How the CEO of a $5 Billion Firm Constructed a Plan for Success

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Our travels for The CEO Sequence have introduced us to firms of all sizes and scopes, and for this episode, we went to 1 that’s simply large. Zebra Applied sciences is among the most dynamic B2B expertise firms on this planet. They digitize and automate workflows for firms, have roughly 10, 000 workers and do about $5 billion in income. I had the possibility to sit down down with CEO Invoice Burns to learn how he leads such an enormous operation.

Beneath are some highlights of our insightful dialog, which have been edited for size and readability. Watch the total video above.

World attain

“You see our firm Zebra in on a regular basis life. We’re a digital answer supplier that allows companies to intelligently join knowledge, property, and other people. You see us in a point-of-sale checkout at a grocery store, when a postal employee is delivering a parcel to your own home, and in so many different locations. Firms use our cellular gadgets to scan the package deal, get signatures, and issues like that. All the biggest retailers around the globe — 86 p.c of the Fortune 500 firms — are our prospects at this time. We consider it as retail, transportation, logistics, manufacturing and warehousing, well being care and authorities.”

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The NFL Connection

“As an organization, we help the NFL. We use the identical kinds of tags that might be utilized in retail or transportation logistics to trace parcels or stock to trace each cleat, each shoulder pad, each helmet worn by a participant. The NFL’s preliminary use case was for fan engagement and to boost the printed. After which the most recent use circumstances are actually round defending the well being and security of the gamers.”

The CEO’s Journey

“I began my profession in gross sales, in a big telco gross sales into people like Verizon and others. After which I took a job main Europe, the Center East, and Africa from a gross sales aspect and expanded into advertising and providers and different areas. After which I joined Zebra about 9 years in the past to steer the acquisition piece. Zebra was a billion-dollar specialty printing enterprise. They purchased two and a half billion {dollars} in income from Motorola to the enterprise enterprise and so type of in a single day a $1 billion enterprise turned a $3.5 billion enterprise.”

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Management duty

“There’s three legs of the stool, proper? That is how I view the enterprise: our prospects, our workers and our buyers. Finally we’re in enterprise to proceed to develop and to earn cash. However you have to do the fitting issues first. You’ve got acquired to have the ability to reward and appeal to and retain the most effective workers around the globe. For those who do this, you then’ll serve your prospects greatest. For those who serve your prospects greatest, you may develop your topline income and your profitability and your inventory will go up and you will care for your buyers.”

Main by robust instances

“I feel that demand for our providers skyrocketed throughout COVID, after which in 2023, demand reset again to 2019 ranges. So we have been put ready the place we needed to do the traditional issues that almost all companies would do. Take a look at your actual property and your journey prices and all these issues internally. We additionally did issues like voluntary retirement applications. We thought of creating new alternatives for individuals inside the group. It labored out nice, however it’s at all times laborious to get smaller. It is at all times much more enjoyable to develop. However you have to make these robust enterprise choices at instances.”

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Profession recommendation to future leaders

“Nobody else cares as a lot about your profession as you do, but in addition be affected person as a result of it does not occur in a single day. And for those who’re at an incredible firm and you’ve got alternatives there, there’s nowhere else that you just’re extra revered than inside that firm. They know you’re prepared, so be affected person.”

Take a look at extra profiles of progressive and impactful leaders by visiting The CEO Sequence archives.

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