Nilofer Merchant is a master at turning seemingly “wild” ideas into new realities and showing the rest of us how we can too. She has done so through her books, her top-ranked TED talk, and her accomplishments at Fortune 500 companies and startups. So much so that she was awarded the Future Thinker Award from Thinkers50, which ranks the world’s leading business thinkers and named her the #1 person most likely to influence the future of management in both theory and practice.
She began her career in business 25 years ago as an administrative assistant, and quickly rose to division leader, to CEO, to board member of a NASDAQ-traded company—gathering monikers such as the “Jane Bond of Innovation” along the way for her ability to guide organizations through impossible odds.
She has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales and has held executive positions at everywhere from Fortune 500 companies like Apple and Autodesk to startups in the early days of the Web (Golive, later bought by Adobe). Logitech, Symantec, HP, Yahoo, VMWare, and many others have turned to her guidance on new product strategies, entering new markets, defending against competitors, and optimizing revenues. Merchant is one of the few people who can say they have fought a competitive battle against Microsoft and won, for Symantec’s Anti-Virus $2.1B annual business. She has served on boards for both public and private companies, as well as on governance boards on public policies.
Nilofer has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and written innovation columns for BusinessWeek and Forbes; her byline and ideas have also appeared in publications like the Harvard Business Review, Wired, and O: The Oprah Magazine. A TED speaker, she shares the stage with luminaries regularly, including Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Gladwell, and Bono.