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Business Leader interview with Stephan Sieber, CEO Unit4

Stephen Sieber was appointed CEO of Unit4 in April 2016. Enterprise Times spoke to him at Unit4 Connect. The event provided an insight into the culture that Sieber has inherited. The company embraces its multiple cultures and includes a degree of humour that is above average for many corporate environments.

ET: Who is your inspiration and why?

Stephan Sieber: I’m less inspired by persons and more inspired by actions that people do and everybody who lives a passion. The passion that comes with strong values is something that is inspiring for me. I have many people that inspire me just because of what they do and how they do things in different parts of my life. It’s not only professional, it’s also personal, private and in my hobbies. I’m inspired by my wife. There is somebody who lives absolutely strong values and lives them herself every day and is a role model in this. That’s an inspiration for me.

ET: What is your leadership style?

Stephan Sieber: You’d probably have to ask people that work for me. I would say it is a direct, open, rather fast paced leadership style. I try to be very non-hierarchical in the sense that everybody can talk to everybody in the organisation. Elon makes a big fuss out of this. I think it’s the absolute normal thing. Anything that helps us with speed, priorities and focus.

ET: What are your business challenges for the next 12 months?

Stephan Sieber: I truly think that talent is the number one driver of our success and everything that comes with talent, talent acquisition, talent development, talent retention, strategic workforce planning. Understanding the profiles and the skill sets that you need, not only today, but also the ones you need in the future in order to remain successful. We are the most people-centric business of all businesses. We are pure IT. We are pure intellectual capacity and capability and that all comes with people.

ET: So your biggest challenge is acquisition and retention

Stephan Sieber: Acquisition, retention and development. It’s a very competitive market we are in. For me, as somebody who works for large multinational firms, I clearly see a difference in our ability to attract talent. We’re really thinking hard about what is our value proposition to employees. Job interviews have changed. We’re not interviewing candidates anymore. We’re selling a vision. We’re selling a purpose. Of course, we’re also looking for the skills. There is a massive change going through the workforce.

ET: What are your personal challenges? 

Stephan Sieber: Finding enough time to also do those things that are a priority for me outside my job. Spend time with my family. I’m a person who is very interested and curious. I’m naturally curious and I usually have a few hobbies that I follow very passionately and they require some time and attention. It doesn’t make it easy if you’re anyways travelling a lot.

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