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Doing business with David Webster of EMC

Doing business with David Webster of EMC

President, EMC Australia and New Zealand

David Webster President

EMC Australia and New Zealand

Age: 50.

Where were you educated? New Zealand, Brisbane, UTS Sydney.

Where do you live? Mosman in Sydney

What are your interests away from work? Boating, kayaking, fishing, watching the kids play sport, All Black rugby, great wine and food with close friends.

What are you reading at the moment? The third book in the Millennium series, Harvard Business Review magazine and boat trading magazines.

What is your favourite movie? Why? Not actually a movie but rather the British TV series Spooks. I love the way it is filmed and the complexity of the plot – it's not one of those shows where you can work out the ending in the first five minutes.

What is the most memorable place you've been to? Why? South Africa on my honeymoon. Being with my wife, Chris, in such a special country – the people, the landscape, the wildlife – with so much potential.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? If you are going to do a job then do it well, don't be half-arsed about it. This was indelibly etched in my psyche by my father.

Professionally, who do you admire most? Jim Clarke, founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape Communications who I had the honour of working for during my early days at SGI. A tremendous visionary as to where technology was going and how it could be applied but balanced with a focus on people and culture – a combination that has strongly influenced my own leadership style.

How long have you been working in IT? Since university days, 25 years.

If you weren't working in IT, what would you be doing? The constant change and innovation of IT is a very attractive combination but it would probably be something completely different that involved mucking around with boats.

What was your first job? My first job was in year 8 high school when I landed a delivery run with the local chemist for three afternoons a week. I helped count out the pills for prescriptions and then hopped on my bike to deliver them in the surrounding suburbs, whilst avoiding the local dogs who thought my legs were dinner.

What's the best thing about working with IT executives?They are smart, resourceful and have high expectations about what is possible and what outcomes need to be delivered. Ensuring businesses are positively impacted through the use of technology I find very satisfying.

What is the worst? When people don't realise technology by itself doesn't deliver anything. It is always the combination of hardware, software, process and people that makes or breaks IT projects.

What is your favourite networking situation? Catching up with the staff at our quarterly all hands meetings and talking to customers and partners about what is happening in their businesses. If it was social it would be watching the All Blacks play the Wallabies or dinner with great wine and food.

What will you do when you retire? I don't see myself retiring, I love working and see myself leading organisations and helping people be successful for years to come . . . although Chris probably has other ideas about that. When it does happen it will involve family, friends and travel while living in Europe, New Zealand and Australia at different times of the year. MIS Australia

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