Lessons from Corporate Innovators

Eric Chaniot – Cheif Digital Officer, Michelin

Play episode

On this week’s episode of Agile Giants, I’m joined by Eric Chaniot, the Chief Digital Officer of Michelin. Most people probably know Michelin as a tire company, but as you’ll hear in the interview, they actually have a number of different divisions focused on mobility.

Eric runs a group that’s responsible for digital transformation across each of these different divisions. Eric had some great perspective on innovation and transformative innovation.

Show Links

Eric’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericchaniot/

Eric’s Book: The Force Within Technology Innovation: How to transform technology innovations into money


I also hope you’ll consider subscribing to Agile Giants if you haven’t already on:

  • iTunes (also if you feel like the podcast deserves 5-stars, would love a rating on iTunes)
  • Spotify
  • Google Play
  • Or use RSS in your favorite podcasting software

Full Transcript

Sean Ammirati: 00:08 Welcome to Agile Giants: Lessons From Corporate Innovators. I’m Sean Ammirati, your host, co-founder and director of the Carnegie Mellon Corporate Startup Lab and partner at the Early Stage venture capital fund, Birchmere Ventures. Each week, I’m going to talk to guests who are experts at creating startups inside large corporations. I believe, fundamentally, a startup within a company is the same as one inside the proverbial garage, a group of entrepreneurs trying to make the world a better place using new ideas and inventions. However, I also believe some of the techniques and processes are just inherently different. This podcast is going to explore those similarities and differences.

Sean Ammirati: 00:57 On this week’s episode of Agile Giants, I’m joined by Eric Chaniot, the Chief Digital Officer of Michelin. Most people probably know Michelin as a car company, but as you’ll hear in the interview, they actually have a number of different divisions focused on mobility. Eric runs a group that’s responsible for digital transformation across each of these different divisions. We sat down at the IRI Conference in Pittsburgh I’ve been talking about for the last few weeks, and Eric had some great perspective on innovation and transformative innovation.

Sean Ammirati: 01:28 I thought it was particularly interesting to think about this “factory setup” that he’d described within Michelin. I’m still not quite sure I love the term factory, but I do think it’s a really interesting approach they’re taking to digital transformation, and it’s something that other companies should look at as well. Hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Sean Ammirati: 01:46 All right. Welcome to another episode of Agile Giants. I’m here live at the IRI Conference. As I mentioned, I will be doing some podcasts from here. I’m joined today with Eric, who’s actually a chief digital officer, unlike a lot of our chief innovation officers. But I thought especially… and I’ll let him give his background, but especially when you think about how he approaches digital within his company, I think it requires innovative thinking. And so I wanted to have him talk a little bit about what he’s doing. So Eric, thanks for joining me today.

Eric Chaniot: 02:26 Thank you.

Sean Ammirati: 02:27 So Eric, maybe to get started, talk a little bit about your background and ultimately, what led you to this chief digital officer role?

Eric Chaniot: 02:33 So when I was 13 years old, which is sometimes ago, my goal was to be able to work for Apple one day. And then what happened… so I did some software engineering studies and three years into these studies, guess what? My dream became a reality. So I could work for Apple. So I worked for Apple for seven years. And at Apple, one of the things that I did that is memorable, I was in charge the first a wireless notebook in the world. And at that time, I learned that… And it was 25 years ago. So my kids, they are laughing about that, but it was a big innovation.

Sean Ammirati: 03:11 What Apple product was that?

Eric Chaniot: 03:13 The name was the Power book. And the reason was that one of the city was having the first wireless data network in the world, and that was in France. What I learned from that, I learned two things. I learned, number one, I love innovation, and I love disruptive innovation. But the second thing I learned, which is having an innovation without customers is not a real innovation, because I think this product was ahead of its time.

Eric Chaniot: 03:39 Then after that, I worked for HP. And I worked for HP for 10 years. And inside HP, what I did is that I created a product, product line, I created startups inside HP, and then I ran a software business for HP at the worldwide level. And then after that, before it too late, I said, You know what, I would like to create a startup. So I created the first startup that did not work. And then I created a second startup around data analytics, and this startup worked.

Eric Chaniot: 04:06 And what happened is that four years ago, the CEO of Michelin called me and explained to me… One of my customers was Michelin in my second startup, and he called me and he said, “You know what, we want to be much better at everything digital.” The purpose of Michelin is better forward in a sustainable way, and we’re convinced that most of the services around mobility will have a very, very strong digital component, and if Michelin is not getting much better at everything digital, then one day we could be challenged by a startup tech companies.

Eric Chaniot: 04:39 So if you take a look at-

Sean Ammirati: 04:41 And this is Michelin, what people would think of as the tire company, Michelin?

Eric Chaniot: 04:45 Right.

Sean Ammirati: 04:45 I know you do more than that, obviously, but-

Eric Chaniot: 04:47 Yeah, there is much more than that. If you want me, I can elaborate on that. So if you think about that, my history is transforming. So I transform ideas into products, into product lines, businesses. And now when you talk about digital transformation, then guess what? You transform an organization. And along the way, creating all these things, I think I start to have a good idea on what does it takes to bring disruptive innovation on the market and inside big corporation, and I really think that the digital transformation is a disruptive innovation for traditional companies.

Sean Ammirati: 05:30 Yeah. So what I want to talk about that, because we’re very interested at the Corporate Startup Lab, and we’ve been talking to lots of people on Agile Giants about how to do innovation inside big companies. So you started doing innovation for a couple of tech companies, then you did a couple of traditional startups and now you’re doing really startups inside of Michelin. I think most people are right now thinking like, well, Michelin, they make tires. Maybe give people a little bit of a sense on what Michelin is, then let us talk about how you’ve startups inside of the company.

Eric Chaniot: 05:58 Right. So Michelin is really four businesses. So number one, Michelin is in the mobility business. That’s the way we see ourselves. The four businesses… So one is tires, that everybody knows, the Michelin tires. The second one is service and solutions, and specifically in two areas. So one area around tires, and I can give you some example. But another area is around fleet management. So now we have solutions that enable our customers to manage fleets. So second business, service and social.

Eric Chaniot: 06:29 The third one is around what we call experience. And experience includes everything around food, travel, the Michelin Guide, the Michelin Chef. Some people, they do not realize that this business is part of Michelin. So that’s one of the business that we are. And then the last one is high tech materials. So if you take a look at your tires, so inside the tires there is around 220 components, and in nature, they are not made to be able to stick together. Now, when it’s inside your tires for your car, your airplanes or your trucks, you want them to stick together for a long time to make sure that you are safe.

Eric Chaniot: 07:12 So Michelin is mastering chemical, we make the strongest metallic cables in the world, we do 3D metallic printing. So the four business is how do we leverage these capabilities that we haven’t been able to sell them to other companies? So that’s really what Michelin is all about.

Sean Ammirati: 07:29 I didn’t realize that Michelin Stars was the same company.

Eric Chaniot: 07:31 It’s part of Michelin. And the reason for that is that you change, on average, your tires every two to three years, while you go to the restaurants much more often. So that’s really a way for us to expose Michelin to consumers in a much more frequent way than when you need only to change the tires.

Sean Ammirati: 07:50 So did they start the restaurant guide the stars after the tire business, or what’s the history of the company?

Eric Chaniot: 07:57 The vision of the Michelin brothers, is that the… and it’s still the same. Their vision was that… Their goal was to enable people to discover the world. And if people were able to discover the word, then humanity will get better. So for example, the Michelin brothers, they invented the first signage on the side of the road, they invented the first map, they invented the guide because at the time, when you will go to another city, then if something was to happen to your car, then you will need to find a garage, you will need to find where to eat, you will need to find where to… They invented the first concrete runway for airplanes in the world.

Eric Chaniot: 08:33 So they invented many things in many areas. But the goal from the beginning was really to enable people to discover the world, and we’re still living, to some extent, to the heritage of Michelin brother. So that’s why we do things beyond the object itself because again, we’re in the mobility business, and our goal is to enable people and goods to be able to travel, to discover the world.

Sean Ammirati: 09:02 That’s hugely helpful context. So then you’re basically responsible for digital transformation inside Michelin. Is that correct?

Eric Chaniot: 09:10 Yes.

Sean Ammirati: 09:11 So how do you go about tackling a problem like that given your background and the experiences that you bring to bear here?

Eric Chaniot: 09:18 So number one, and I really believe that it’s true for any kind of innovation and many when it’s a disruptive innovation, you need to have the right setup. If you do not have the right setup to be able to innovate, then it’s not a question of ideas, smartness, and resources, you will not be able to succeed in big corporation. So first of all, our executive team and our CEO in particular, he was visionary enough to understand that we needed to put the right setup to give a chance to the digital transformation.

Eric Chaniot: 09:49 So a lot of things. So we have very strong executive support. So I report to the global CEO, and that protects me and my team, to some extent, from what could happen in big corporations. We have governance in place with the region with the business lines. So we really act almost like a startup inside a big corporation. But also, we have some common grounds that we need to find.

Eric Chaniot: 10:17 So from the beginning, I explained to the executive team and to all the functional managers that, you know what, digital was a very different animal than making the best tires in the world and that we will need to tune the operating model between tires and digital, just to make sure that we could do what we’re supposed to do. So the maturity of the executive team to understand what is the setup that we should put in place, I think, is critical and again, for digital transformation or for disruptive innovation.

Sean Ammirati: 10:49 Sure. So digital transformation is almost just an example of this transformational innovation.

Eric Chaniot: 10:53 Yes.

Sean Ammirati: 10:54 So have the right setup, with senior sponsorship, the governance in place, how do you go about launching these initiatives then?

Eric Chaniot: 11:02 So it’s very simple. Thomas Edison, the great innovator said, “Vision without execution is a hallucination.” So like a startup, we have a vision of where we want to go, and that’s great, but we’re obsessed… When we spend most of our time, it’s on the execution. So we really act like a startup. So we have a minimum viable product, we really… and people, sometimes they don’t believe that, but we act that way. So we really have all the speed, energy, agility that we can have a startup, while being in a big corporation.

Eric Chaniot: 11:39 So we start small, we think big, but we act small. And we make sure that we deliver. And when you do that on all the domains that we’re working on now, then guess what? Along the way you get credibility, along the way, you show that it’s possible to have a different way to operate than making the best tires in the world. And then along the way, you gain more and more confidence from the overall organization that guess what, believe it or not, but you are able to operate in a very different way than what people will have thought so.

Eric Chaniot: 12:14 So anyway, we are very selective on the projects. Again, we are very focused like a startup will be. But at the same time, we know how to work with a big corporation. And the fact that I worked in two big operation, Apple and HP, and then I had two startups, I think it’s good because that’s the way to bring the best of two worlds. The best of the startup. One, understanding that you work in a big corporation, and there is a string attached with that.

Sean Ammirati: 12:42 So talk about that a little bit. So you’re talking about some of the ways they’re similar. Talk about some ways that doing startups inside Michelin is different than your traditional startups.

Eric Chaniot: 12:49 There’s just one simple example that I can give you. And I read a book and I don’t remember the title of this book, on the fact that companies, they operate based on their main products that they are marketing. So just to give you an idea, the tire for a car, the lifecycle of a tire for a car seven years. A tire for a truck, the lifecycle is 15 years. A tire for an airplane, life cycle is 30 years. So on one side, you have a system which is super optimized again, to make the best tires for all these categories.

Eric Chaniot: 13:31 But then on the other side, you have digital. And digital, you don’t talk about yours like that, right?

Sean Ammirati: 13:36 Sure.

Eric Chaniot: 13:37 You talk about weaknesses. So we spend a significant amount of time to explain concepts like minimum viable product, we spend lots of time with various level inside the organization to explain why do we do that, why do we try to achieve, how do we try to achieve it? And the second thing that we do also, is that we have a very strong governance with the business lead in the region and we do not act like an ivory tower.

Eric Chaniot: 14:06 So the goal on all the projects that we’re working on is that there is always a mix in term of teams between people from the business, the regions and also people from digital, and that’s a way for more traditional organization to understand, for me, the word digital is working, the benefits, the operating model.

Sean Ammirati: 14:28 To try to change the culture there. So a how many people are on your digital team?

Eric Chaniot: 14:33 We have two parts. There is the core team… And also what we do is that when we do acquisition of companies that are digital by nature, then we use them for their own business, but also we’ll try to use them for the benefits of the group. So if you take all the people working on digital in these two buckets, it’s probably around 600, 650 people.

Sean Ammirati: 14:55 Okay. And how many initiatives do you have going on at any point in time? [crosstalk]

Eric Chaniot: 15:01 I don’t know anymore. So we have what we call digital factories. And at the beginning, I did not like that name that much. But in a manufacturing environment, factory means you have a team of people in a given domain who really understand what you’re talking about, who really understand what they are doing and then we can deploy that all over the world. And then we have the businesses that I was referring to.

Eric Chaniot: 15:24 So on the factory side, we have factories in the US focused on CRM, focused on B2B engagement, focused on customer analytics. In San Francisco, we have a studio, and the goal of the studio is to make the link between Michelin and the Silicon Valley. In France, we have several factories. We have one around the consumer engagement, one around e-commerce, one around connected, one around digital maintenance notebook and one around mapping.

Eric Chaniot: 15:55 In London, we have a factory that we use for the michelinguide.com, in China, in Shanghai, we have a factory focused on the Chinese needs, in Sao Paulo, we have a factory that we use for the fleet management needs, and in Pune, in India, we have a huge technology and innovation center, when we start to regroup a lot of digital resources that will be used across all the factories. So there’s really a network of… And they work on various projects in their various demands.

Sean Ammirati: 16:26 So I understand why, for the manufacturing company, they like the term factory. I think I probably am having the reaction to the word right now that you did when they first mentioned it to you. Employees you’re trying to recruit to come work at the factory, how do you explain it to them?

Eric Chaniot: 16:40 So to be honest, the Michelin brand has been elected one of the top brand in the world during the last few weeks, and it’s recurring every year. So to be honest, they love the story of digital transformation. And there is two thing… and mainly the young generation, Michelin has a very strong purpose around mobility and around sustainability. And I need to say that we have lot of millennials, we have a lot of younger generation. For them, it’s very much more even important than the… at least my generation, the purpose.

Eric Chaniot: 17:14 The second thing is that being able to transform a traditional company into a digital company, for them it’s an adventure.

Sean Ammirati: 17:24 For sure.

Eric Chaniot: 17:24 And when I talk to them, they learn. So is it easy? It is not easy. Most of the work that we do on top of technology, most of the time is on change management transformation, and it’s never easy. But at the same time, they learn like probably they will not learn in smaller startup companies. So far so good. It’s a good adventure.

Sean Ammirati: 17:48 So on that part, you’re preaching to the choir, right? My students love the concept of going to work to help to reinvent large established companies, more than I think the large companies even appreciate. I’m just thinking of sitting down with a student of mine and saying, “You should go work for a digital factory,” what their reaction to that [would be].

Eric Chaniot: 18:06 But they understand. But what’s interesting is that… To be honest, none of them talked about that.

Sean Ammirati: 18:13 Interesting.

Eric Chaniot: 18:14 And I’m not even sure we’ve talked about that with them. We’re saving the world. But what we said though, we said to people, “Okay, do you understand that it’s a transformation? So do you understand?” So if you do not like human challenges, guess what? You should not come. Because it’s really… So they like that.

Eric Chaniot: 18:36 The second thing is that by nature and by design, we have a very diversified team, and we have a team… And I was the one pushing that. We have people and we have influence from all over the world. And I think there is two benefits for me. Number one, I really believe in diversity, and I really believe that understanding what’s going in China, in India, in Europe, et cetera, is critical.

Sean Ammirati: 19:03 100%.

Eric Chaniot: 19:03 If we’re starting just from one place, that will not work. For me, there’s definitely… Diversity is important. The second thing is that because of that, then each of these factories, they have lots of autonomies. Very often, companies talk about empowerment, stuff like that. They are very empowered. And again, we explained that to them because we’re not going to tell them what to do every day. They understand what we want to achieve, it’s up to them to… And you know what, I like that myself. But not everybody likes that.

Sean Ammirati: 19:40 Sure. You need to recruit for the right type of person.

Eric Chaniot: 19:43 Right.

Sean Ammirati: 19:44 100%. So let me ask you for two examples, maybe, of your digital transformation initiatives within Michelin, one that worked out really well and another one that maybe didn’t work out like you had hoped for. It’d be great to get maybe just a couple of quick case studies from you.

Eric Chaniot: 20:01 So one that worked well, that was one that was surprising. Let’s put it this way. So in Europe, 50% of the fleets in Europe of trucks, they have less than 20 vehicles. 50% less than 20 vehicles. It doesn’t make sense, economically speaking, for Michelin to put sales people for these small customers. But at the same time, we say we do not want to lose touch with them. We do not want to be too far away. So we launched a new service, which is called MyAccount.

Eric Chaniot: 20:34 The goal of MyAccount is that a small fleet will give us all their information; which kind of trucks, which kind of tires they have, even not Michelin’s tires. And then in exchange for what? We are going to tell them what they should do on their tires. So we are going to help them manage their fleet more efficiently. To do that, they have a small fee. It’s a subscription services that they have to pay every month per truck. So we launched the service. We did not do that much advertising, let’s put it that way.

Eric Chaniot: 21:06 And after two years, we have more than 60,000 fleets who give us all their information. And we’re very careful because for us, the data, it’s ethical topic. So we are very careful on what we do with their data. So they gave that to us. And through the service, we did some promotional marketing activities. So in two years, we sold more than 1.5 million truck tires. And more than 1.5 million truck tires for Michelin, that’s a big deal. That start to be-

Sean Ammirati: 21:39 Because it just seems like a big number to me. How many truck tires is Michelin’s… Just for perspective.

Eric Chaniot: 21:45 I don’t know.

Sean Ammirati: 21:45 But that was meaningful.

Eric Chaniot: 21:48 But yes it’s a big number.

Sean Ammirati: 21:49 Five percent, do you think of?

Eric Chaniot: 21:51 I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t know. But that’s a big number. And then at the beginning of this project, to be honest, the only goal was to… The fact that we could not put salespeople… We discussed them. But it’s a great example for me because only digital could enable to do that. And the second thing is that when you transform with the relationship that you have with your customers, then guess what? They give you something in exchange. They get more loyal. They appreciated us.

Eric Chaniot: 22:21 And by the way, of course we are better at predicting what’s going to happen on Michelin tires than on other tires. So we do that on everybody, but it’s better on Michelin. So that was an interesting one. The one that I can use as still a challenge, let’s put it this way. So it takes time and efforts to be able to transform the culture of a company like Michelin. And during the last three years… Last year for example, we have 145,000 employees. More than 16,000, they start to get better at digital, more than 6,000 of them, they get a diploma on digital. And that’s one area where myself, and I could be wrong, but I thought we could go faster and we could go deeper inside the organization.

Eric Chaniot: 23:13 So I think that… And I talked to chief digital officers in the US and in Europe, and last week I was with some of them in the US. I really think that we underestimate the effort needed in term of change management for more, I would say, traditional industries and companies. I think when you come from the tech world, we love challenge. That’s what I tell everybody. If you do not love change and you work for tech industry, you’re in trouble. So I think that’s an area where probably we should have done more, bigger, faster. So hopefully we’ll be able to correct that.

Sean Ammirati: 23:48 Let me ask you just one more question about your process. I could talk to you for days there, as predicted. So how do you think about projects core, versus more disruptive projects? Do you have any portfolio targets for your projects or anything like that?

Eric Chaniot: 24:05 So first of all, core and non core for us means something. And again, coming from the tech world, the biggest customer of Samsung is Apple, the biggest competitor of Samsung is Apple, the biggest customer of Cannon on the laser jet engine is HP, the biggest competitor is HP. So tech companies, they mastered the fact that… and sometimes there is still some IP laws, but anyway. But they mastered the fact that… They know what they do, they know what is score and they know what is non-core. And then what is non-non-core, they are going to use the best company who can do that, even if it’s their competitors.

Eric Chaniot: 24:50 So core and non-core for us as related to digital is really the same story. So it's really understanding what is core and what is non core, and making sure that on what is core, then, yes, we’re going to use the latest and greatest technology, but at the same time, we are going to protect ourselves because we don’t want tomorrow someone to be able to reuse some of the IP and do that with our competitors. And think about that when it’s physical when it’s inside the tire, it’s hard to do. Now, when it’s becoming virtual when you have digital screens on everything, it’s a very different story. So number one.

Eric Chaniot: 25:29 The second thing on what we do on the project… So we defined five areas. The first area is digital customers. For us, digital customers is encompassing CRM, website, mobile app, social, B2B services, B2D services, et cetera, B2B services. And at the beginning, we say, “You know what, the focus on our efforts has to be on customers.” If we want to transform the company, then digital is an unprecedented opportunity for us to get closer to them. So lots of effort, lots of prioritization on the customer relationship. We did a lot of that during the last three years.

Eric Chaniot: 26:11 Second one was around what we call digital employees. Very often we talk about the consideration symmetry, and the idea there is that we want to give to… If we want our employees to give our customers great digital solution, we need to give them great digital solution. So this one were the first two ones when we really started. Then since then, we started to work a lot on digital processes, and in particular digital manufacturing, supply chain, R&D and automation. And now we start to work more on everything connected, that has been connected, that could have been connected and also data the analytics and AI.

Eric Chaniot: 26:49 So for us, that’s the five domain. But we do that again, more like a startup that scale. At one point of time, we were scaling because were a multinational company. So focus first with customers, employees, then with the processes, then we had connected and the data analytics Ai.

Sean Ammirati: 27:08 Got it. Do you do anything that doesn’t fit any of those buckets? Do you have any sort of just skunkworks while-

Eric Chaniot: 27:15 It has to. It has to, because we are a directed democracy, and we’re super-

Sean Ammirati: 27:20 Directed democracy. I love that.

Eric Chaniot: 27:22 All right. And we act as a digital company. And as you know, digital companies, they could have several different customers in several different industries. That does not mean that they have different digital platforms. So we apply exactly the same philosophy.

Sean Ammirati: 27:41 Great. One question I want to ask all the people from IRI that I’m interviewing throughout the survey, how’s the conference been so far, and any big takeaways for you from the conference?

Eric Chaniot: 27:51 The big takeaway, so number one, when I saw the opening conference this morning-

Sean Ammirati: 27:55 Bob Evans [of Evans Strategic Communications]gave a keynote this morning.

Eric Chaniot: 27:58 It’s very interesting because we all have the same problem, we all have the same challenges and to some extent, it’s comforting to see that we are working on similar problems. The second thing, which is… And I really encourage people to do that and to take advantage of that. So we have these conferences, we spend time together, we spend a few days togethers, we see the same things, we talk during the breaks, et cetera, et cetera.

Eric Chaniot: 28:29 For me, what I’m always telling to people when I’m doing this kind of thing, it is just the beginning. And for example, it’s on innovation, but it’s also on the digital transformation. Digital transformation is a journey. So if someone was able to give me a checklist of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done and how it needs to be done, guess what, please send it to me because it will make my life and your life much easier.

Eric Chaniot: 28:56 But it’s a journey. And we are all embarking into this journey, and I really think that we need to help each others. There is one thing that they said during the conference, and last week I was with some chief digital officer, is that we need to spend time to discover the outside and see patterns that we’d see in different industries, different companies, different solution that have been found, and then understand what does it means to take this kind of practices inside our companies?

Eric Chaniot: 29:28 So for me, be on the time we spend together, I think we should really think about us almost as a community. And as a community, we will be able to help each other along the way. And that’s what I told everybody. They can contact me on LinkedIn. I will be more than happy to help them, because again, I ask questions. My team is asking question because you know what? It’s not as easy as it looks.

Sean Ammirati: 29:55 Sure. We’ll be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile on the show notes here. Let me end with the question that I like to ask every guest as the last question, which is a question around career advice. So you came out of school, had your dream job at Apple, then HP, did a couple startups, now have this chief digital officer role inside Michelin. Somebody who might be listening to this podcast thinking like, I want to achieve similar success in his or her career. What advice would you give?

Eric Chaniot: 30:22 So one thing that always drove me and is still driving me today… And it’s me. As for you, I have to be careful about that. And I think it could be a challenge I have, is that I can get bored very quickly, and I need to learn. So number one, I lean to learn. And the second thing is that I love to solve problems. I really do. So if you take a look at what I did in my career so far, that’s always what I did. So I learned new domains, I transformed idea into products, into businesses, into all these kind of things.

Eric Chaniot: 30:59 So when I took this job… think about that. I’m CEO of my company, my company’s profitable. So I was not sure if I really would like to get back to a big corporation again. Anyway, so I talked to a friend who is at the board of several tech companies, and then he said to me, “Eric, do you realize the opportunity that you have? You have this iconic brand…” And there is some iconic brand that we know like Kodak. It was an iconic brand, but almost completely disappeared today.

Eric Chaniot: 31:35 You have this iconic brand, they are not in a desperate situation… Michelin has never been as profitable [as it is today]. And then they want you to help them to drive to the next part of the history. So he said that to me. And then the second thing he said to me, he said, “Eric, do you realize what you are going to learn? Do you have any idea of what you are going to learn?” And this guy did the merge between HP and Compaq, and he was the guy in charge. And he said he never learned as much.

Eric Chaniot: 32:07 So myself, what’s really driving me is learning. I’m obsessed by learning. And the second thing, I love to make things happen. And very often, I love the power to make things happen, but not the power in a negative way. When you put the product… The best job I had was product manager. You put a product on the market, then one day you are at the airport and then you see your product that someone is using to register you. You know what, that’s what I’m driving forward.

Sean Ammirati: 32:39 Sure. That’s a great note to end on, Eric. Thank you so much for taking the time. Again, we’ll include a link to your LinkedIn profile on the show notes. I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did.

Eric Chaniot: 32:49 Very much so. Thank you.

Sean Ammirati: 32:49 Thanks Eric.

Sean Ammirati 32:51 I hope you enjoyed this episode of Agile Giants. If so, consider sharing it with a friend. And if you think it’s worth five stars, which I hope you do, please go to iTunes and rate it so that others can find this content as well.

Join the discussion

More from this show


Episode 14