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21st Century Leaders: Driving Success Amid Intense Disruption

June 11, 2018 • LEADERSHIP, SPECIAL FEATURES, Global Business, Editors' Pick, Leadership Development

Fujitsu’s Duncan Tait on the imperatives for unlocking value in the digital age

Besides having superior knowledge about optimising digital for their business, what else should leaders prioritise amid the intense pursuit of digital transformation? In our conversation with Duncan Tait, Director and Corporate Executive Officer, SEVP, and Head of EMEIA and Americas regions at Fujitsu, we explored the imperatives, both in leadership and business context, for unlocking new sources of growth and enhancing businesses’ core value proposition in today’s digital world.

 

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. Let’s start this interview by giving us a glimpse of what your day looks like as a successful leader of a multinational organisation?

To me, a great day starts with an early morning spin class at the gym. From there, how I spend my time is very varied; attend board meetings to discuss the company’s performance, get into a call with a customer to discuss their current projects, which I find incredibly rewarding. Then I attend other meetings related to the recognitions being given to our business such as the Times Top 50 Employer for Women – giving me the opportunity to focus on the great people in our business. As a CEO, I try to find a day-to-day balance: keeping myself fit enough to do my job through exercise, spending time working on the financials, looking after the talent within the business and naturally focussing on our key stakeholders – our customers.

 

Before you landed in an executive role at Fujitsu, what other career did you pursue? How was the transition to Fujitsu?

Progression in leadership is about being given responsibility for an area, working hard to improve its value, and then people will ask you to take on more and repeat the cycle.

My first job was actually at my mother’s newsagents, where I introduced a computer to help to run the business when I was 14. Since then, I’ve spent my whole career on the intersection of technology and business, both for customers and internally. When I joined Fujitsu, I had a clear plan to revive the public sector in the UK, focussing on delivering results and creating momentum. Then 18 months on, I became CEO of Fujitsu in the UK. Progression in leadership is about being given responsibility for an area, working hard to improve its value, and then people will ask you to take on more and repeat the cycle. It’s what I’ve done throughout the last 32 years.

 

Leaders atop a company naturally have a lot on their plate. At Fujitsu, what are your primary responsibilities and what’s significant about being the Director and Corporate Executive Officer, SEVP, and Head of EMEIA and Americas regions at Fujitsu?

One of my primary roles is serving on the global board of Fujitsu Limited, which is a significant responsibility, as I’m the first non-Japanese person to do so in the company’s history. In terms of my “day job,” it’s serving customers in EMEIA and Americas and supporting the excellent people in our business. And the outcomes are brilliant on both sides: for customers, we’re helping them to thrive in a digital world, despite the disruption they face, while at Fujitsu we end up with more new businesses.



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About the Interviewee

Duncan Tait is CEO, SEVP and Head of Americas and EMEIA at Fujitsu with more than 27 years’ experience in the ICT industry. His deep business and industry knowledge and global perspective are critical assets that enable Fujitsu to achieve its mission: to use technology to improve global business and society.

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