How Su Mei Teh moved from financial services to Google

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Su Mei Teh, the Asia Pacific Head of the Payments Product Operations team, based in Singapore. Su Mei shares how she moved from financial services to tech, and how the critical thinking and business management skills she honed applied to multiple roles at Google

What does your typical work day look like right now?

It’s usually full of meetings due to the collaboration between teams: They’re based across 12 offices in 8 timezones! I generally start the day with video conference meetings with colleagues in California and end the day meeting with colleagues in Europe. In between, I carve out time for focused work, such as writing a strategy document or reviewing a financial model.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Outside of Google, I spend time with my family and volunteer with a variety of causes. I’m a founding member of the Singapore chapter of the Asian Google Network, an employee resource group that supports professional and personal development for the multicultural Asian community in Google. I also re-discovered my joy of singing by joining the Musicians @Google Singapore group.

How did you find the transition from financial services to Google?

When I got the offer to join the Google Ads team, I was in disbelief. Up to that point, I thought that my chances were slim as I had no prior digital ads experience and felt branded as a financial services professional. Thankfully, the critical thinking and business management skills that I had acquired could be applied in Google as well.

You don’t need to have a computer science or engineering background to be in Google. Google is such a diverse company with many products and services, which require many functions to support its operations and growth. Sales, project management, financial controlling, strategy, operations, legal, etc. All these are roles we have in Google that don’t require prior tech experience!

What has your experience been with internal mobility (moving to different teams) within Google?

My first role at Google was strategy and operations management on the Google Ads team. After a few years I wanted to get closer to the heart of product development, so I moved to payment product operations. I also wanted to satisfy some of my entrepreneurial appetite in a team that was essentially a start-up within Google. Lastly, payments and fintech (financial technology) were rapidly growing sectors. It was, and still is, an exciting time to be in that space.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day?

I’ve been working on a very fun (though intense) project — the relaunch of Google Pay in Singapore. We completely reimagined the Google Pay app to be more immersive and rewarding for our users. I learned to work with a lot of ambiguity, and picked up some new know-how in the process. It’s been heartening to receive compliments from friends at how much they love Google Pay.

What’s one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

I wish I had applied to Google earlier. I was filled with skepticism about my chances given I assumed my financial services experience wouldn’t be relevant. Speaking to people in Google really helped me realise that there were a large variety of roles, many of which made use of the skills I built elsewhere.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

As with any job, there is an element of timing, so monitor Google’s career site and program alerts for roles you are interested in. While you wait for the right opportunity, build up your knowledge and work on better articulating the value and impact you can make so that you can avoid last-minute cramming when an interview opportunity comes along!
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MINI Design Award Finalists: Alejandro Carbonell [Green Urban Data]

The MINI Design Award is an initiative of MINI Spain within the Madrid Design Festival 2021 that seeks to reward projects focused on generating a positive impact on urban life.

Among its finalists is Alejandro Carbonell, founder and CEO of Green Urban Data, for an online service that, in the face of environmental deterioration in cities, facilitates decision-making and prioritization of strategies against climate change using satellite images.

2020 sets the stage for a decade of unprecedented changes. 2020 has been a year that saw the speed of change increase by factors no one could have expected back in January. Businesses pivoted literally from one day to the next like never before. Organizations set aside hesitations and made bold decisions focusing on innovative technologies and strategies to respond to the crisis. Having done it all year to ensure survival, we expect to see businesses continue to move fast and implement decisions at lightning speed.

According to a research lead by Gartner showed that organizations are moving many IT automation technologies from evaluation to deployment as they prepare to respond to the rapid pace of digitalization. In 2020, 45% of all IT automation technologies are in deployment with the remaining 55% in pilot.

IDC’s research says 65% of global GDP will be digitalized by 2022, driving $6.8 trillion of IT  spending from 2020 to 2023.

So what will we see in 2021? Globant has created the report ‘Predictions 2021: An explosive mix of innovative technology and new business models’. In this report, Globant’s top executives weigh in with their predictions for the next 12 months and beyond, based on thousands of hours of work and constant discussions with our clients around the world.

These are:

  • There will be a surge in new, ingenious, and transformative business models.
  • Creating a high-performance work culture will require new skills and tools.
  • Powerful, holistic experiences will differentiate those businesses that survive and thrive, and those that die.
  • The rise of resilient, yet adaptive, organizations.
  • Businesses will shift to hyper automation and adopt tools to dramatically accelerate software development.

We hope these predictions will provide you with insights and ideas to build the foundation for long-term success.

Download the white paper to discover more about what’s in store for 2021.

eBay Inc. Names Jamie Iannone Chief Executive Officer

Highly Accomplished Leader with Proven Track Record of Driving Superior Performance and User Experiences at Consumer-Facing Technology Companies

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Jamie Iannone as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 27, 2020.  He has also been elected to the Company’s Board of Directors. Most recently Mr. Iannone was Chief Operating Officer of Walmart eCommerce.

Mr. Iannone has over 20 years of experience leading digital pure-play and omnichannel platforms for some of the world’s premier consumer-facing companies. Before being promoted to COO of Walmart eCommerce, he served as CEO of SamsClub.com, the eCommerce unit for the $57 billion Sam’s Club. In this role, he was responsible for the unit’s digital transformation, including developing and executing initiatives in membership, marketing, technology, product and operations. Mr. Iannone previously worked at eBay as a Vice President and other leadership roles from 2001 to 2009.

“The Board believes Jamie is the ideal CEO to lead eBay’s next chapter of growth and success,” said Thomas Tierney, Chairman of eBay Inc.’s Board. “We have all been impressed by his strong track record of innovation, execution, operational excellence, and developing teams that drive results. Jamie has consistently delivered high growth during rapid periods of industry disruption, consumer change and technological advancement. He is a world-class leader, and we are excited to welcome him back to eBay.”

“I am honored to rejoin eBay as its next Chief Executive Officer,” said Mr. Iannone. “In my previous experience with the Company, I developed a deep appreciation for what makes eBay so special. eBay’s success has always been rooted in its robust C2C platform. I believe the Company has tremendous opportunities to capitalize on this foundation, innovate for the future and grow its ecosystem. I look forward to working with our global teams to enhance buyer experiences and provide more capabilities that will help small businesses sustain and grow. I will focus on continuing to evolve the Company’s strategy while delivering on eBay’s commitment to maximize long-term shareholder value.”

Mr. Tierney added, “We are deeply appreciative to Scott Schenkel for his leadership, not only over the past six months as interim CEO, but also during his 13-year tenure at eBay. In addition to leading bold actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Scott as interim CEO, eBay has re-prioritized its product roadmap, scaled growth initiatives, significantly improved margins and positioned the Company for enhanced shareholder returns. On behalf of the Board and the entire eBay family, we extend our sincerest gratitude to Scott for a job exceptionally well done.”

Mr. Schenkel will continue as interim CEO until Mr. Iannone joins the Company on April 27, 2020 and will thereafter work with Mr. Iannone to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. Andy Cring will continue to serve as interim CFO.

Mr. Iannone’s appointment marks the end of a comprehensive search process led by a dedicated committee of eBay’s Board of Directors and supported by outside executive search and leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart. The Search Committee, comprised of Fred Anderson, Katie Mitic, Matt Murphy, Paul Pressler and Tom Tierney, led an extensive evaluation of external and internal candidates for the role. The full eBay Board unanimously supported Mr. Iannone’s selection as CEO.

About Jamie Iannone

Mr. Iannone most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Walmart eCommerce. His team focused on operational oversight of eCommerce as Walmart moves to a truly omnichannel organization. He also had responsibility for Store No. 8, Walmart’s incubation hub.

Mr. Iannone joined Sam’s Club in 2014 and was CEO of SamsClub.com and Executive Vice President of membership and technology. In that role, Mr. Iannone grew both the SamsClub.com business and Sam’s Club’s membership base, which ended FY20 with record-high eCommerce growth and Plus renewal counts. His teams also released industry-leading technologies including Scan & Go, Ask Sam’s, Sam’s Club Now and Club Pickup.

Before joining Walmart Inc., Mr. Iannone was Executive Vice President of Digital Products at Barnes & Noble, Inc., where he was responsible for all NOOK devices, software, accessories, retail integration and experiences, books and digital content, as well as third-party partnerships. He also spent nearly eight years at eBay as a Vice President and in other roles leading several areas of the Company, including its global search, buyer experience and tailored shopping experience divisions. Before that, Mr. Iannone worked at Epinions.com and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Mr. Iannone previously served on the Board of Directors of The Children’s Place. He earned a Bachelor of Science in operations research, engineering and management systems from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

About eBay

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity for all. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the company’s current expectations, forecasts and assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the future performance of eBay Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, including full year guidance for 2019, leadership changes and the company’s operating and strategic reviews. Actual results could differ materially from those predicted or implied, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Other factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: changes in political, business and economic conditions, any regional or general economic downturn or crisis and any conditions that affect ecommerce growth or cross-border trade; the company’s ability to realize expected growth opportunities in payments intermediation and advertising; the outcome of the operating and strategic portfolio reviews; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; the company’s need to successfully react to the increasing importance of mobile commerce and the increasing social aspect of commerce; an increasingly competitive environment for its business; changes to the company’s capital allocation, including the timing, declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends or levels of the company’s share repurchases, or management of operating cash; the company’s ability to manage its indebtedness, including managing exposure to interest rates and maintaining its credit ratings; the company’s need to manage an increasingly large enterprise with a broad range of businesses of varying degrees of maturity and in many different geographies; the company’s need and ability to manage regulatory, tax, data security and litigation risks; whether the operational, marketing and strategic benefits of the separation of the eBay and PayPal businesses can be achieved; the company’s ability to timely upgrade and develop its technology systems, infrastructure and customer service capabilities at reasonable cost while maintaining site stability and performance and adding new products and features; and the company’s ability to integrate, manage and grow businesses that have been acquired or may be acquired in the future.

The forward-looking statements in this press release do not include the potential impact of any acquisitions or divestitures that may be announced and/or completed after the date hereof.

More information about factors that could affect the company’s results is included under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by visiting the company’s Investor Relations website at https://investors.ebayinc.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this press release, which are based on information available to the company on the date hereof. The company assumes no obligation to update such statements.

THE BIG READXR IN TODAY’S REALITY

XR in Today’s Reality

To complement our RISE Spotlight event on XR, Amelia Kallman, futurist, author and chair of ISE’s XR Summit, reviews some of the areas where these technologies are making their mark right now.

While XR (extended reality) technologies have been hyped since 2014, it’s only now in the midst of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and global economic crisis that we are really seeing the true value of virtual, augmented and mixed realities as vital to the future of business success. Across industries including healthcare, manufacturing, education, design, tourism, consumer goods and marketing, XR is helping companies secure the competitive advantage needed to survive and thrive in the years to come.

The greatest challenge the XR community faces is one the industry created itself. Early hype and evangelical proclamations oversold the limited abilities of VR and AR technologies in the early days, fuelling disappointed expectations which the industry has been trying to crawl back from for years. It may be helpful to remember that while AR and VR have been developing next to each other since the 1960s, the industry as we know it today is less than seven years old. That said, the improvements in such a relatively short period have been remarkable, but even so, people adapt and adopt at a much slower pace than the big tech companies often presume.

Forecasts and futures

It’s too simple to judge the success of this industry on how many headsets have been sold (or not sold); instead we should focus on the true business cases for XR. The future of the industry relies on its ability to live up to the promises that XR can save companies time and money, accelerate processes, measure engagement, bring people together in unique and memorable ways, and create new revenue streams that don’t only justify costs, but proportionally outweigh them.

It is projected that by 2030 XR will boost the global economy by $1.5 trillion, with the growth of jobs enhanced by VR and AR jumping from under one million in 2019, to over 20 million by 2030. This growth will partially be attributed to the prevalence of edge computing and 5G. Edge computing is the practice of capturing, processing and analysing data near where it is created, and 5G is super high-speed internet. These innovations will provide the practical infrastructure necessary for mass transmission of large data sets at higher speeds, ensuring a seamless immersive experience anywhere at any time, whether it’s through a mobile, laptop or headset. Reducing latency, improving image quality, and enabling new ecosystems of high-volume, real-time data applications, these expediting capabilities will bolster the viability and benefits of XR in our everyday lives.

Fighting Covid, tackling lockdown

One recent example from the medical industry of how VR is being used to save time and money while enabling collaboration is iMD-VR. A team of scientists from the University of Bristol have been using VR and cloud computing as a means to assist the medical community in the global fight against Covid-19. They’ve created a 3D model researchers can step inside to visualise the unique complexities of the virus, as well as test potential vaccines and cures via molecular dynamics simulations. This level of real-time international collaboration, as well as the ability to visualise and contextualise something invisible to the human eye, wouldn’t be possible otherwise. It is not only a great illustration of how VR can extend our capabilities beyond our physical means, but also how it can help accelerate vital knowledge sharing across geographic locations that could result in saving lives.

Many industries are turning to XR as a way to cope with their remote collaboration needs during varying stages of lockdowns around the world. Global strategic design and innovation consultancy Seymourpowell use VR to enable collaborative design across global teams, encouraging employees to dial in to participate in immersive meetings via tablet, phone, laptop or VR headset. The platform they use, Reality Works, was originally created in 2017 as a tool for their transport team to collaboratively create full-scale 3D vehicle designs, but now they’ve adapted it and expanded use throughout the company, even hosting impactful client pitches in VR and offering the platform to their clients.

Virtual meetings and events

We are seeing evidence that a short-term investment in an immersive platform and instigating a virtual meet-up work culture can save companies time and money in the long term. Earlier this year executive training organisation The Leadership Network moved all their physical masterclasses into the metaverse via their Gemba VR platform. Removing three nights’ accommodation, business travel and subsistence from the equation saved customers an average of £1,800 per person. It also cut down the hours employees had to be ‘out of office’, gaining companies 44% more productivity time throughout the week.

Under the pandemic the events industry has particularly suffered with many turning to Zoom, Hopin and Teams as an alternative to physical conferences. Between screen fatigue, the lack of networking options, and every event starting to look and feel the same, there is a good case to be made for the advantages of hosting in VR. European VR/AR tradeshow Virtuality completely digitalised their physical arena to reflect everything you might expect from a conference space: exhibition halls, booths, auditoriums, networking lounges, all accessible from anywhere in the world via PC, Mac and Oculus Quest. To accomplish this they’ve partnered with Manzalab Group using their digital solution Teemew Event. Many VR platforms designed to support meetings have expanded their offer to include conferencing features, like the immersive education platform Engage, which can now host up to 150 people at one time. It is unique in that it offers full bodied avatars, the ability to run events inside 360 videos, and it also offers spatial recording, which means post-event people can still experience a fully 3D replay.

Tracking eyes, hands… and brains

Advancements in eye and hand-tracking capabilities now included in many headsets offer new ways to measure customer engagement and prove ROI. A global consumer goods corporation partnered with Accenture to build a multi-user VR merchandising evaluation system where they can safely host customer focus groups to evaluate the effectiveness of product placement, advertisements and store layouts before making costly decisions. The simulation ultimately resulted in higher product sales and a greater profit margin as they were able to effectively market test before implementation, ensuring that when it came to deployment they got it right the first time.

Taking things one step further, the integration of bio-data or brain-computer-interface (BCI) technology into headset experiences can give us an even deeper insight into the nuances of customer behaviour and decision-making. EEG brainwave technology MyndPlay was integrated into OculusGo headsets to allow marketers to see which adverts perked an individual’s attention the most so they could then offer people a more personalised product. With recent studies showing 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand who provides personalised recommendations and experiences, this is a trend we may see more of in the years to come.

The role of social

Using augmented reality to let shoppers ‘try before you buy’ has become even more important to retailers in 2020, adding value to the at-home shopping experience. Earlier this year Gucci partnered with Snapchat for the platform’s first global branded AR shoe try-on lenses. The AR lens overlays a digital version of four pairs of shoes on a mobile user’s feet and allows immediate purchasing via the Snap app. According to Snap data, Snapchat reaches 75% of people ages 13 to 34 and 90% of people ages 13 to 24 in the US, helping brands bond with Gen Z. Also attempting to engage the next generations, Burger King ran an immersive sweepstake during the MTV VMAs that asked viewers to scan an onscreen QR code to activate an AR experience featuring rapper Lil Yachty. People were treated to an exclusive performance, as well as coupons. This drove downloads of their app, which has become crucial to many quick-service brands since the pandemic.

The adoption of AR into our everyday lives through social media platforms like Snap and Instagram was so gradual and natural many people don’t even realise they’re using AR technology. AR has enjoyed a faster consumer adoption than the uptake of VR for several reasons: It’s less expensive to create and free to use, it can be activated through hardware we all already own and have on our bodies most of the time, and it services a very basic function, even if that function is to simply make us look cool online.

The evolution of AR and MR (mixed reality) technologies has the potential to be quite profound however, fundamentally changing the way we interact with the world around us. Recently acquired by FacebookScape Technologies uses AI, computer vision and cloud computing to geopin AR and MR content to specific locations. Effectively this means that in the future the entire world will become real estate for interactive, shoppable digital signage viewed via phones, glasses and, sooner than one may think, contact lenses or implants. While today we might use AR to map a path to physical locations while receiving pop-up ads on our phones, tomorrow these ads may be integrated and activated by our physical environments opening up new opportunities for personalisation, gamification and revenue streams. As we go back to physical environments, whether it be retail shops or museums or other entertainment facilities, AR activations will play a significant in role in our ability to deliver information and engaging experiences while keeping everyone safe.

Moving off mobile

Moving this engagement from the mobile to a ‘heads up’ experience is a space many start-ups are currently vying for. Predicted to disrupt the dreams of young companies in this arena is Apple, which has secured a number of patents for its forthcoming AR glasses. Said to use the iPhone as the computer behind the glasses’ AR functions, this would instantly give Apple a market advantage, as well as remove the weight and subsequent unattractiveness of many of the prototypes we’ve been seeing. One of Apple’s latest patents focused on the ability of lenses to automatically adjust according to the eyesight of its user. It suggests that the optical module associated with individual eyes will be able to modify displayed images to correct the user’s vision.

News of fresh innovations coming to the world of XR, along with evidence of the formation of subindustries, indicate that the industry is continuing to evolve and mature. As the technologies become more democratised, price points will continue to come down and uptake will continue to go up. With alpha-innovators beginning to prove ROI as a result of XR, more companies will have to follow suit if they want to stay in the game. While some might view the constant developments and upgrades as a sign to hold off investment until the hype curve has flattened, the companies adopting these technologies today know that by then it will be too late.

RISE Spotlight: XR in Today’s Reality took place on 15 December 2020. You can find out about the RISE Spotlight series here.

www.ameliakallman.com
@ameliakallman
@TheBigRevealUK

Amelia Kallman
Futurist – Speaker – Author


Amelia Kallman is a leading London futurist, speaker and author. As an innovation and technology communicator, Amelia regularly consults brands, agencies, and governments on the impact of new technologies on the future of business and our lives. She forecasts global trends and behaviours, helping clients navigate innovation, build strategies and deliver industry leading initiatives. She specialises in the emerging opportunities – as well as the risks – of machine learning and AI, big data, IOT, and the New Realities (XR: VR-AR-MR). Recent areas of study include the future of social media, the XR internet, edge computing, and the surfacing human rights issues of tomorrow. She produces and hosts the annual XR Summit as part of ISE and also hosts the XR Star podcast for AV Nation. Amelia’s writing is often featured in WIRED UK, IBC365, and The Big Reveal, her popular innovation newsletter and YouTube channel. Clients include Unilever, Tata Communications, Vodafone, Lloyd’s of London, and UK Parliament. She is a mentor, activist, and is currently writing her next book.
www.ameliakallman.com @ameliakallman @TheBigRevealUK

Facebook Connect: Introducing Oculus Quest 2, a Partnership with EssilorLuxottica and More

At Facebook Reality Labs, our mission is to build tools that help people feel connected, anytime, anywhere. Today marks our seventh annual AR/VR conference, recently rebranded as Facebook Connect to reflect its broader scope. For the first time, the event was completely digital, free and open to anyone to attend. From cutting-edge VR headsets to all-day wearable AR glasses, we talked about building the future. And underpinning it will be a deeper sense of connection with the important people and things in our lives.

During today’s keynote, we heard from Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Head of Facebook Reality Labs Andrew Bosworth and more as they shared AAA gaming partnershipsQuest Platform news and updates to Oculus for Business, among other announcements. Here’s a look at the highlights.

Introducing Quest 2

We announced Oculus Quest 2 – the next generation of all-in-one VR. It has our highest resolution display ever, weighs less than the original Quest and starts at just $299 USD. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform processor and 6GB of memory to power even more immersive experiences, with newly redesigned controllers for better ergonomics and longer battery life. Pre-orders open today, and Quest 2 will ship October 13. Learn more here.

EssilorLuxottica Partnership

We announced a multi-year partnership with EssilorLuxottica – the makers of eyewear from Oakley and Ray-Ban to Armani, Versace and more. Together, we’ll build and release a pair of Ray-Ban branded smart glasses in 2021. They’ll combine innovative technology with fashion-forward style and help people better connect with friends and family.

Spark AR Momentum

Every month, more than 600 million people use Spark AR across Facebook and Instagram. More than 400,000 creators from over 190 countries have published Spark AR effects for Facebook and Instagram. Together, they’ve published over 1.2 million AR effects to date. In just the last three months, more than 150 effect owners have hit over 1 billion views and uses. And beginning next year, we’ll open up Portal and Messenger to Spark AR creator publishing, giving more people fun new ways to connect.

Building Responsibly

We shared our principles for responsible innovation, which guide all of our work at Facebook Reality Labs. They are: never surprise people, provide controls that matter, consider everyone and put people first. These principles will continue to evolve as we build the next computing platform. Learn more about our principles here.

These innovations help drive our progress toward the next great computing platform with people at the center.