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Lessons on Leadership and Life Post-LGO — Jim Miller

LGO Web Seminar Series

Jim Miller, LGO '93, Vice President of Worldwide Operations, Google

Lessons on Leadership and Life Post-LGO

Presentation Date: April 8, 2011

Slides from this presentation (Extended version - an abridged slide set was used during the presentation)

Abstract: Since graduating from LFM/LGO in '93, I have been fortunate enough to have worked with some great companies at some very interesting times in their corporate life cycles: Intel (Birth of the Pentium); (Early stages of E-Commerce); Cisco (Broadband explosion); First Solar (Green/Solar Resurgence); and now Google (Emergence of Cloud Computing). Additionally, I have had the opportunity to work fairly closely with and learn from leaders like Andy Grove, Jeff Bezos, John Chambers and now Eric Schmidt and Larry Page at Google.

Throughout my career, I have compiled a collection of sage advice, perspectives and experiences, successes and mistakes that I believe you will find interesting and, hopefully, useful as you embark on your post-LGO careers. These perspectives and vignettes will cover a range of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Advice on managing your career.
  • Things that I've learned from my managers and peers about leadership.
  • Life in high technology and high growth rate companies.
  • Things that you don't learn in B-School that you wished that you had.
  • Observations on a life of technology
Finally, I'll offer some perspectives on what it is like to work at Google as an Operations-centric person in a "software" company.

Biography: Jim Miller is Vice President of Supply Chain Operations at Google. In this role, he has responsibility for global operations, planning, supply chain and new product introduction for Google's IT infrastructure.

Prior to Google, Jim was EVP of Sanmina-SCI Corporation, one of the world's largest EMS providers. He had responsibility for their Industrial, CleanTech, MultiMedia and Automotive businesses.

Prior to Sanmina-SCI, Jim was a Founder and Principal at Sierra Crest Consulting, a consulting firm that focused on corporate and operations strategy for alternative energy companies and high-technology companies.

Prior to Sierra Crest Consulting, Jim was the Executive Vice President of Supply Chain and Product Management at First Solar, an industry leading supplier of CdTe Thin Film Photovoltaic modules and systems. In this role, he was responsible for building the First Solar supply chain team and developing the supply chain strategy as well as leadership of the Product Management team.

Jim was formerly, Vice President of Product Operations for Cisco's worldwide supply chain organization. In this role, he was responsible for new product introduction (NPI) and product lifecycle management for Cisco's hardware and software products.

Jim was also the Vice President of Cisco's Manufacturing Technology group, Supply Chain and Logistics organization and was the Vice President of the Midrange plant where he had responsibility for the new product introduction and manufacturing for one-third of Cisco's hardware and all of its software revenue.

Before his tenure with Cisco, Jim served as's vice president of Supply Chain, where he was responsible for the inception of's supply chain organization and was a key contributor to Amazon's rapid growth to a multi-billion dollar global company. Jim has also held key technical and production positions at IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation and Teledesic, a Seattle-based telecommunications startup.

Jim has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He additionally holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a "MIT Leaders for Manufacturing" Fellow.

Jim serves on the Advisory Board of a number of West Coast CleanTech and Supply Chain software start-ups. He also serves on the Industrial Advisory Board of Purdue University's School of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, where is he is a recipient of the Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award.

Jim lives in San Jose, CA, with his wife and son.

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Category: Education | Updated 8 months ago

April 08, 2011 16:48
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