After Hours: Adrian Pickering
Adrian Pickering, VP, Middle East & Africa, Juniper Networks
Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.
Number of years in the industry: 31 years
Favourite food: Fillet Steak (medium/rare at Ruth’s Chris)
Holiday destination: Maldives (Cocoa Island)
Music: George Benson (jazz)
Dream car: PaganiZonda F
Gadget: Bose noise cancelling earphones
Movie/book: Contact (Jodie Foster)/The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
Piece of advice: Opportunities never come to those who wait...they are captured by those who dare to attack
How did you come to be in your current role?
I had been working across the Emerging Markets in the communications industry for more than ten years when I was approach by Juniper for my current role. I met with the President for Juniper EMEA here in Dubai and we got on really well and a week later I flew over to California to meet with the exec management team. It was a two way interaction....obviously they wanted to get to know me, but equally, I was keen to meet the folks shaping the direction and culture of the company. The feeling was mutual...it was a good fit for all of us and here I am.
What is your management philosophy?
Lead by Example. We are a lean management team here in MEA and consequently, we all have to pull our weight and go the extra mile in everything we do ...there is no room for passengers in this organisation. I believe that a good leader should ‘walk-the-talk’ and consequentlyI wouldn’t expect any member of my team to commit to doing something that I wasn’t prepared to do myself. Fortunately, I have a great team of people around me, so executing effectively isn’t a problem in Juniper MEA.
What was your first computer, and when did you first use it?
Now I’m dating myself — it was a Sanyo ‘portable’ running CPM off 5.25inch floppy discs. Weighed a ton! This was circa 1984.
What is your greatest achievement?
My two kids...Cameron and Celine...I am a proud dad.
What is your biggest mistake?
In recent times.....acting sooner to address an underperforming employee. It was someone I hired into a key role on my team and I turned a blind eye to the warning signs!In retrospect I should have acted on my gut feel a lot sooner. It was a good lesson.
What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle East IT industry?
Spending time with the first batch of graduates from our Networking Academy in Saudi Arabia. Their enthusiasm and energy was contagious....no wonder that they have all gone on to top jobs in the industry.
What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in 2014?
Software Defined Networking...it’s early days for this innovation, but it will change the face of the networking industry over the next five years.
What’s the best way to deal with stress?
Exercise.... there’s nothing better than quick 10k run down by the beach!