Today we are talking to Bob Worrall, the CIO of Juniper Networks. And we discuss articulating the bare essentials to sell your vision, being energized by hard problems, and embracing the unknown to grow as a leader.
All of this, right here, right now, on the Modern CTO Podcast.
Bob Worrall is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer leading Juniper’s Global Information Technology team. In this role, he leads the ongoing enhancement of the company’s IT infrastructure and applications architectures to support the growth objectives of the company. He and his team are also responsible for showcasing Juniper’s use of its technologies to the world.
Prior to joining Juniper in 2015, Worrall was Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at NVIDIA with responsibility for deploying innovative technologies to enhance employee productivity and improve cost efficiencies. He also spent more than two decades at Sun Microsystems, including six years as Chief Information Officer. He also held a variety of roles in Sun’s IT organization, including Vice President of Applications and Vice President of IT operations. Worrall has extensive international business experience, including a two-year assignment in The Netherlands.
Worrall holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, East Bay. He is a recipient of the California Diversity Council’s 2017 Distinguished Chief Information Officer award.
- How did you get started in technology?
- Figure out what the programmers are saying and explain it to the business
- Decided to stay with IT because the pay was better than supply chain
- Joined Sun Microsystems in 1990
- Forcibly rotating Hi potentials across different department / functions
- Convinced to take the CIO role at Sun Microsystems
- Called from NVIDIA to become CIO
- Called from friends at Juniper to become CIO
- The Motivation and drive from having a living breathing thing in your hands
- High level overview of Juniper
- First experience leading first team – Scared to death
- I’m the stupidest guy in the room, but here’s what I can bring to the group
- The best thing that happened was his manager did not help him at all
- Crisis of Conscience – Deal with it or crash and burn – Self Reliance
- Pie chart of day 3 biggest slices – Normal IT work, projects, budgets etc – Deploying early versions of Juniper projects and helping the engineers working on it – Security
- What is the project that you are most excited about today?
- Juniper’s Move to the cloud
- Closed all data centers > moved all data in to some form of the cloud
- What is it like to be on Team Juniper – Culture
- Don’t think of what’s impossible / break down the barriers
- Energized by the hard problems
- CIO/CTO relationship at Juniper
- How Companies Innovate > Pipeline
- Brainstorming Big Problems
- When you see an emerging leader / What makes them a HI Potential / what catches your eye
- Articulate their thoughts and ideas in a succinct manner. Get to the point quickly, make the sale, get out. Strip down the messaging to the bare essentials
- How do I level up?
- Cut down on travel by moving to Amsterdam
- Other son works in the Golf Industry Marketing
- 20 Years ago in a data center when someone accidentally pressed fire alarm
- Advice to previous self – Don’t be afraid or hesitant, embrace the unknown
- Show up early, work hard, don’t complain and help the next guy.