I am stepping down from my position as Executive Chairman of Pitney Bowes on December 31. I will also no longer be a member of the Pitney Bowes Board of Directors.
I do not anticipate being in any sort of direct employment or contractual relationship with Pitney Bowes. I made this decision for two reasons. First, there needs to be absolute clarity that I am not part of the Pitney Bowes leadership team. Being any sort of agent, employee, consultant, or contractor to Pitney Bowes is inconsistent with that clarity. Second, I need to be free to take positions on public policy issues that are mine, and that will not be confused with Pitney Bowes’ position on these issues. I expect that I will be aligned with Pitney Bowes, but the Company and I each need the freedom to decide how to think and act about issues independently of each other. I will adhere strictly to my responsibilities as a former employee of the Company, but I will no longer be an insider.
I have four passions in the public policy arena:
- Health and health care
- Transportation and sustainable infrastructure development
- Community development
I will continue to take on project-based assignments outside Pitney Bowes that involve work with both the public and private sector on each of these issues. I also expect to stay on the two public-company boards of directors on which I serve, and to remain engaged with the Dossia personal health record initiative, the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, the National Urban League, and the RAND Health Advisors Board. I will also continue to support my wife’s work with charter schools.
I am particularly excited today about the idea of applying the tools used by effective start-up businesses in the non-profit sector. Too many non-profits spend too much money on non-core activities. They also fail to work together with other non-profit organizations, even when cooperation would benefit both organizations. They also often have missions that are too fragmented and diffuse. I am going to try to see what I can accomplish in my area.
I have become very interested in working with business start-ups because I like the passion, energy, and brainpower of many entrepreneurs I have met and with whom I have worked. I am excited about spending more time with them.
I also plan to spend some time thinking back about my experience as a Pitney Bowes leader and employee, and will share some of my reflections on business from what I have learned from my 29 ½ year career at Pitney Bowes, my five years in private law practice, and my life experiences outside the Company. I will create a new topic area called “Reflections on my Business Career: Lessons Learned” and, from time to time, will post blogs on specific lessons learned.
I have often been asked whether the approach I take to blogging will change since I will no longer be a Pitney Bowes employee. The answer is that, while we have always indicated through the disclaimer that the opinions expressed are mine, rather than Pitney Bowes’, I would expect that there will be some changes that make that divergence clearer, but I am reluctant to predict what they might be. The main message I want to reiterate is that, from December 31 forward, I will be expressing my views without any vetting process inside Pitney Bowes.
I want to thank the people at Pitney Bowes who have helped me get this blog underway and who review my blog before it is published. They have been greatly helpful, but I cannot ask them to provide services to me as a retiree, given their other responsibilities. I have gained great wisdom and insight from them, but I will be a free agent as of January 1.
I look forward to engaging with readers in my new role.