After nearly 13 years with Nuance, I decided that it’s time to think about a new adventure and I’m leaving the company at the end of March. I’ve got lots of ideas about what to do next, but I am resisting the temptation to lock down on a path until I’ve spent some time pondering what is possible.
When I joined Nuance in 2004, I was 39 years old and my kids were 7, 6 and 3. I’ll be departing just shy of my 52nd birthday with my kids now clocking (calendaring?) in at 20, 18, and 15.
In my 13 years, I’ve seen Nuance grow from about 600 employees and $175M in annual revenue to more than 6,000 employees and nearly $2B in revenue. I had the opportunity to re-position the company multiple times as it grew through nearly 100 acquisitions and even got to rename the company from ScanSoft to Nuance in 2006. When I started, there was no such thing as an iPhone – and now billions of smartphones have been sold – most of them powered by Nuance technology of some kind.
I served as the Chief Marketing Officer from 2011 through 2015, but my greatest honor was to serve as the general manager of the Dragon software business for the last 8 years, growing the brand into one of the best-known software brands and the dominant brand in speech recognition. Getting to know the Dragon customers – and seeing the potential we have unleashed by enabling people to “speak their minds” – was easily the most rewarding part of my professional career.
It hasn’t always been an easy ride at Nuance, but few things that are truly worthwhile are easy. I’m very thankful for the opportunities and rewards that the company has provided, and I like to think I balanced the equation with my contributions.
Now it’s time to think about my next act. Watch this space – I’m just getting warmed up.