Leaders by example: Eric Schvimmer
Category: culture Video duration: Leaders by example: Eric Schvimmer
Eric Schvimmer, executive vice president of engineering and chief technology officer at Bloomberg Industry Group shares his philosophy for leadership and what makes the Bloomberg family of companies unique.
Eric Schvimmer, chief technology officer for Bloomberg Industry Group, plays a vital role in the company's success and innovation. What's really cool about Bloomberg is we try not to rest on our laurels. We like to always push boundaries and take advantage of things before anybody else does. In his 13 plus years with Bloomberg, Eric's held two previous roles, including leading an engineering group and Bloomberg's Consumer Media Organization. Bloomberg Industry Group focuses on three main business sectors: government, tax, and law. It provides professionals in those industries with essential information for effective decision making and informed work. "There are some really interesting problems in industries that have been working in the same way for 100 years, that are just ripe for change and they're begging for it in some ways. When you can provide a solution that takes days out of their workflow, it's great." For example, Bloomberg has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence for years. Eric is excited about the possibilities of AI, but also aware of the importance of responsible use and protection of user information. making sure that we don't run roughshod over traditional copyright laws and people's rights in our haste to go out there and take advantage of this technology. That's one. The second is making sure that we secure people's information, especially in the businesses that we work in. That is really important. You wouldn't want your tax attorney to be using something that could potentially get your tax information out on the internet without you knowing about it." He also leads by creating space for his team to balance legal and ethical considerations with their ability to innovate in order to solve complex problems. "Get the heck out of the way is probably the best thing I can do in a lot of times. We have smart people. I want them to understand the business problems and I want them to get as excited as I am about some of these things so that they're motivated to go out and not only do what they're being asked to do, but, don't build a faster horse, build a car." Empowering employees is not the only key to the company's culture. Food and snacks are offered for free in a communal space, inviting collaboration. Philanthropy is also important here. "Whether it's making food for homeless shelters or providing gift cards for children in the hospital, things like that. We try to do one thing a month to give back." Throughout his career, Eric embraced change before becoming a leader in technology strategy. He wanted to be a meteorologist, but shifted gears when his college canceled the program. "We were introduced to computers early on in high school, and so I remembered it was fun so maybe I'll do that. And so that's kind of how it happened." He encourages aspiring students to be willing to learn and adapt to new things. "It's really one of the criteria I use to look at people we hire. I want to see a history of having gone through change and not being afraid of it. So embrace it. Don't fear it." Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus will soon open just blocks away from Bloomberg's Arlington offices, giving the company access to skilled talent. "A leading engineering school coming into our area, opening a graduate school can only be beneficial to everybody, because we all need talent."