The Leader Magazine

MAR 2017

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MARCH 2017 57 How long have you been with Infor- matica? And how long have you been in corporate real estate? I've been with Informatica for 18 months. My career in corporate real estate has spanned over 35 years across a variety of businesses and industries, both domestically and internationally. Previous work included leading corporate real estate at Pacific Gas and Electric and working at Sun Microsystems and Herman Miller. You retired in 2012, but that only lasted a couple of years. What brought you back? I retired early, traveled the world and played a lot of golf. That sounds great (and it was), but after two years, I felt like I was missing some- thing. With most of my friends and colleagues still working, I really missed the conversation, energy and excitement of being in the business. I found that I couldn't turn my career off like a light switch and just walk away. Informatica sought me out. To make a long story short, here I am. Informatica is currently going through an exciting business transforma- tion! In support of the transformation, we've been busy repositioning the real estate portfolio and workplace. All of my colleagues and staff are very enthusiastic about corporate real estate which is really energizing. Your degree is in engineering and you began your career as an engineer at Intel. How did you migrate to corporate real estate? Industrial Engineers can be involved in manufacturing. So, initially I worked in manufac- Corey J. Wong, PE Vice President, Global Workplace Solutions Informatica LLC turing in the Silicon Valley. This led to manag- ing manufacturing facilities which then led to corporate real estate. What do you see as your biggest accomplishment? Being able to position my company and staff for success. You can see in my LinkedIn profile that I worked at Sun Microsystems during the boom and bust. During that time, I grew half of Sun's worldwide portfolio from 2M to 7M SF (deliver- ing three 1M+SF campuses) during the boom and then worked the back side too, where we rapidly reduced the portfolio. The true test of a real estate professional is knowing how to oper- ate in both an up and down market. While at Sun, we implemented a new workplace strategy called iWork, very bleeding edge workplace strategy for the mid-90s. Today, I am a big advocate for creating the right workplace strategy for a given business. At PG&E, one of the largest utilities in the United States, I ran their real estate. When I arrived, I saw that they had some of their most critical operations located in downtown San Francisco, the gas operations control center and the main data center (located in the basement below sea level). We ended up distributing these critical operations outside of the Bay Area to reduce the risk and improve business continuity. At Informatica, over the last 18 months, we've been aggressively repositioning the portfolio and workplace to make our offices more customer facing, employee enabling and cost efficient. We've done projects in Tokyo, Bangalore, Amsterdam, London, Boston, Redwood City, Toronto, Maidenhead (just outside London) and New York. On top of that, this year we'll double our capital investment and deliver projects in Austin, Stockholm, Shanghai, Reston, Chicago, Plano, Dublin (Ireland), and more work here in Redwood City. The other accomplishment is being able to position my staff for success. I learned this from the "Bill Walsh of Corporate Real Estate," Bill Agnello. If you look at Bill and his years at Sun, you'll see that his team has gone on to lead real estate organizations around the world. It's a great story. He was a great mentor. We continue his legacy today by mentoring others. I've had staff go on to lead corporate real estate at other companies. What's one of your favorite quotes? I have two, and both are from my Sun days. The first one is, "1 + 1 = 3." It's all about the power of teaming, collaboration and relationships. It's very powerful and I call it "workplace math." The other is an expression that came from Scott McNealy, the CEO of Sun Microsystems: "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission." Be willing to be aggressive, take a risk and push the envelope. Sometimes this makes people feel uncomfortable, but that's how you can get some of the best results. What is the last book you read? I'm not a prolific book reader, but an avid magazine reader. If I'm pleasure reading and if it has anything to do with cars, I'll read it. People would be surprised to know that you. . . They'd be surprised to know that I am a "deal junkie." Whether it's a real estate transac- tion or a leverage partner contract or buying a car or even helping my wife buy a purse, I'm always looking for "value." Value is about getting the most for your money, not necessarily "cheap or low cost." I like the hunt! What was the best advice you ever received? It came from my mentor, Bill Agnello. He emphasized that you must be a student of the business. If you do not understand the core busi- ness and how it makes money, you won't be able to understand how real estate and the workplace can add value. Most importantly, you won't have a seat at the corporate table. If not in CRE, what would you be? I have a passion for cars, so it would be something in the automotive industry, whether design, aftermarket work, racing or even selling cars. What is your favorite pastime(s)? It's enjoying my family, friends, travel, golf, food and of course, cars. What do you want your legacy to be? Just being known for making a difference, whether it's for family, friends, colleagues, staff or the company bottom line. Tell us about your family. I've been married 38 years to my wonderful wife, Dorinda. I have two sons who are mar- ried who've blessed me with three awesome grandchildren. To learn more about the CoreNet Global Corporate Partner program, contact David Vining at dvining@corenetglobal.org. CORPORATE PARTNER PROFILE

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