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Putting passion first
A former audit partner shares lessons from a globetrotting career.
Bill Teuber has had an enviable career – from business owner to accounting partner, to the executive suite and seats on several Boards of Directors. He held multiple executive roles in EMC Corporation, including CFO, leader of the company’s legendary sales organization, and Vice Chairman.
The move to EMC was a perfect fit for this former Coopers & Lybrand audit partner when he realized it was time for the next stage of his career. Teuber’s path reflects his philosophy that people, “need new things to do every six or seven years.” He believes there are predictable periods at which change is welcome—perhaps even inevitable—linking these to a person’s early thirties, mid-forties, fifties and beyond.
The need for career change manifested itself for Teuber in the CFO role for EMC, an office he held for ten years and “loved every day of.” Relishing the international aspect of his work, Teuber recounts that each morning began with an analysis of the company’s foreign currency position. As other CFO role models had done, Teuber determined to spend a third of his time with customers. He has never regretted it.
His commitment to customer relations led to his being tapped for the next big move, filling a sudden vacancy as head of EMC Customer Operations. “I never had a better job,” Teuber says, attesting that he grew more in the five years he held the office than at any other time. It reinforced his instinct to stay connected to customers, a daily reminder that, in his words, “personal communications has no substitute.”
For anyone starting a career or thinking of their next move, Teuber has this counsel: “Be the kind of person people want to work for,” he says, “follow your passions and be open to winning. Opportunities will happen.”