At Xperi, a company focused on using technology to make interactions with consumer electronic devices more immersive and personalized, it’s all in the name.
“The name comes from the root of the word ‘experience’ because we think we’re living in a time where we’re going to see a quantum leap in the experiences people can have in environments that are populated with all these different connected devices, and where the devices are smarter as a result, we end up with a more personalized and immersive experience,” said Jon Kirchner, CEO of Xperi.
The company is only about 18 months old, but its roots go back 20 years to audio technology company DTS and Tessera Technologies, which acquired DTS in 2016. A public company, Xperi has about 700 employees in multiple countries.
That global spread makes diversity among the workforce important, Kirchner said. “We want great people from around the world who can share their differing perspectives and experiences to positively contribute to the growth of the organization and make it a more rich and dynamic place to work,” Kirchner said.
To that end, the company does a lot of videoconferencing, but employees, especially at the leadership level, travel often. Kirchner spends 35% to 45% of his time on the road, while the executive team spends a third to half its time traveling.
“There’s no one primary means of communication that works when you have a really diverse workforce,” Kirchner said. “You really have to attack it through multiple forms and formats, and above all, you need a certain amount of presence because one-on-one or one-on-small-group communications are invaluable.”
Since becoming CEO of Xperi about a year ago, Kircher has also learned the importance of adaptability. Different markets and business environments require flexibility, as does working in the ever-evolving technology industry.
“I am perhaps the largest proponent of the need to change,” he said. “You have a unique opportunity as a CEO to continually drive relevant, value-added change in your business, but if you can create an environment and a workforce that is change-resilient and embracing of change in more of a positive manner than in a fearful one, you can continue to evolve your organization very successfully under a number of different conditions.”
Fast Five with Jon Kirchner
When did you know you wanted to be a CEO?
In my sophomore year of college.
What is your favorite question to ask in a job interview?
What three adjectives best describe you and why?
What’s the single most important trait for a leader?
What’s the key to finding new opportunities for revenue?
Having key insights into where markets are going. That provides fertile ground for thinking about how you meet a set of needs to create growth.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 lowest and 10 highest) how much of a priority do you place on the following things at your company: people, process and technology?
People is a 10. Technology is a 10. I put process at an eight on the basis [that] the best processes in the world are not going to lead you to growth.