Shaker Sadasivam, EMBA’99, is President and CEO of SunEdison Semiconductor Ltd.. He is an active alum at Olin and has participated as a classroom speaker and a member of Reunion Committee. He also sits on the Advisory Board for BCTIM (Boeing Center for Technology, Information, and Manufacturing), and was the commencement speaker for the Graduate Programs graduation in December 2015.
Because of this and much more, he exemplifies what it means to be a Friend of Olin. Friends are those who are giving of their time, their knowledge, share their years of experience, open the doors of their companies to students and faculty to help Olin build better leaders.
Some friendly questions for Friends of Olin:
What has been one of your most valuable experiences at Olin Business School?
The most valuable experience was the coming together of great teachers and students with various backgrounds, the stimulating classroom discussions and the many lifelong associations which it created.
What is the most compelling thing your mentor has shared with/done for you?
My parents created my foundational values. Both of them inculcated in me the discipline of hard work, taking responsibility for my actions and humility. In addition, I have learned so much from many people – starting with my wife, my children, my peers, my supervisors etc. I am always looking for things that other people do better than me and try to learn from them.
What are the 3 biggest challenges facing leaders today?
Recruiting top global talent, working in an increasing globally competitive world, the pace of change and the surprising places at which some of these changes originate. In addition to business and macro-economic issues, working in a global environment requires leaders to be fully aware of geo-political issues also.
What is the one behavior or trait you have seen impede leaders’ careers?
Two key traits for a successful leader are integrity and communications (both listening & understanding).
What are you grateful for today (business or personal)? Why?
I am grateful for many things in my life. I am fortunate to have a wonderful wife and children (a daughter and three boys) and an extended loving family. I am grateful for my health and the opportunities I have been given in my long career at SunEdison Semiconductor.
Who’s your favorite business speaker or author? Why?
I am an avid reader of history books and have recently been enjoying books by Henry Kissinger, including his most recent one on World Order. History provides a great context to understanding, but not necessarily justifying, many of the issues the world faces today. It also holds many powerful lessons for the world’s business leaders.