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FD Q&A: Jean-Michel Richard, Dialog Semiconductor

1. Rise early or work late?

When working for a company that operates globally, flexibility is key. My work involves lots of international travel and every day is different, but personally I like to be up and running well before 8 am. Late nights are par for the course. Fortunately I am a night owl!

2. Training preferences: on the job or formal?

Best to encompass both. For me, there is no substitute for actual experience. On the other hand, you cannot operate in a vacuum. You need to be open to new ideas and concepts. External training brings you that best in class experience that is needed to remain competitive, build solid foundations and give you extra confidence.

3. What is your management style?

Hands on. I am UK based but my teams are primarily in Germany and The Netherlands so that has a big influence on how I operate. Effective communication is essential. I confidently expect that each member of my team will deliver. Clear goals and objectives are set and initiative and commitment are rewarded. Recognise and respect individual strengths and capabilities. Spread enthusiasm.

4. Does delegation come easy?

I consider delegation essential when operating in a fast growing company. If you have the right people in the right job and empower them to make decision, delegation comes naturally.

5. Who do you rely on most?

My wife…

6. Boardroom or restaurant?

A perceptive environement can facilitate dialogue. I eagerly await for our next board meeting at
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester!

7. What technology would you never be without?

My smartphone

8. Are you an FD for life?

Once an FD, always an FD…I don’t think so. It is not about the title but more about what you can and want to do. I’d like to believe that there is more to it. I oversee IT, Purchasing and Facilities and that helps me to be more operationally focused and tuned in.

9. What keeps you awake at night?

Very little. I am a sound sleeper and 6 hours sleep does the trick.

10. Your critical advice to would-be FDs?

Broaden your experience. Show initiative. Learn from the mistakes you will inevitably make along the way. Move from being an individual contributor to being a team leader. Acquire strong analytical skills, take calculated risks. Keep things simple. Keep the right balance between global oversight and local knowledge. But above all, keep a good sense of humour, it opens doors and you’ll need it!

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