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Five-minute interview:Simon Dudley, Polycom

Simon Dudley, major account manager Emea, Polycom

What have you got in your pockets?
Twelve old tube tickets, nine petrol receipts and four security passes for the Polycom Emea headquarters in Slough - I really must do some expenses and wear a different suit. I also have a bunch of my own business cards, all of which have notes on the back, and a piece of paper with a random phone number on.

Who would you most like to have a date with?
Difficult one that. I'm really not into the whole personality cult thing. I think Madonna would be a laugh.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Either a racing driver or an engineer. I later found out I was never going to be good enough to be a racing driver and that I was not clever enough to be an engineer, not one worth paying anyway. I certainly never considered going into the commercial world that I'm in now. When I was at school, I didn't even know it existed.

How did you get into the IT industry?
After getting a herd of sheep (three Us) for my A-Levels, my father rather pointedly observed I needed a job as my rent-free period of existence in his house had expired. We worked on the principal that I needed a car and only two types of people got company cars: delivery drivers or sales reps. As delivery drivers got diesel vans and sales people petrol cars, the choice was obvious.

What do you do to relax?
Drive my motorcycle (probably a little too fast) along French D roads, and skiing. With the clampdown on speeding, I am having to concentrate on spending more time skiing.

What's your favourite chat-up line?
Would you sleep with me for a pound?
Reply: I wouldn't sleep with you for a million.
Oh well, at least we're only arguing about the price.

What's your favourite song and why?
Ralph Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending. It's just the most uplifting piece of music and it reminded me of England during the five years I lived abroad.

What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you?
An extremely nasty case of food poisoning which took effect while driving three international customers to the airport. It is not necessary to go into detail, but suffice it to say they were probably emotionally scarred for life.

What's your favourite place and why?
Massif Central, France, due to the fantastic roads, beautiful scenery and rural aspect of the area. I love the idea of living there, but know that spending any more than a little time there would break the spell and I'd go mad.

If you had a dinner party and could invite anyone, dead or alive, who would you invite and why?
Getting the Goons together for the evening would be very special. The idea of Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan together for dinner would be fantastic. It's possible that I could make a few quid out of the TV rights as well.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
I like the concept of using the money as an ethically focused venture capital fund. I'm very aware that ideas such as the clockwork radio took years to attract funding and have been both a financial success and changed many people's lives for the better. Oh, and I'd buy one of those jet-powered motorbikes and probably a decent yacht as well - just in case you thought I was a goody two shoes.

If you could make a voodoo doll of someone, who would it be?
Maybe I would need more than one for all those people responsible for the shocking state of the UK's travel infrastructure. But I guess the situation is partly of my own making by failing to have sold everyone a video conferencing solution yet.

What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
I have done a fair amount of mad things. I once had a fist fight with a drunk Mongolian in a market in Ulan Bator while stopping off on the way from Hong Kong to London by train. Or going underwater caving in New Zealand and only remembering I suffer from claustrophobia while 175ft underground in a tunnel full of water.

What's your best quality?
Humour. I can generally laugh at anything, particularly myself.

What's your most annoying habit?
Probably wandering around the office shouting on the mobile and throwing frisbees at people. I do, however, work a lot from home - something the office strongly encourages, particularly in my case.

Favourite joke?
I couldn't possibly tell you my favourite joke. All I can say is it finishes with "oh no, she had no head".

What most annoys you?
The status quo - people who continue to do things in a certain way because they always have, even though better alternatives exist. Video conferencing is a great example. By using video conferencing, many people would have more efficient, less stressed, better personal lives, help save the environment and use their time more productively.

Who is your biggest hero/heroine?
Ernest Shackleton. To keep all his men alive in the most extreme conditions imaginable with no chance of outside assistance was just incredible. He basically kept them all alive through sheer force of will.

How would you like to die and what would you choose as your epitaph?
During my honeymoon on my 109th birthday of sexual exhaustion while in the arms of my 22-year-old porn star seventh wife. And my epitaph: "I would never join a club that would accept me as a member."

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