Meet... Ronan Dunne EVP & CEO of Verizon Consumer Group

New York Conference interview

Ahead of our Bravest Conference in New York we meet one of our speakers, Verizon's Ronan Dunne.

What’s your golden rule?

If something is worth doing it’s worth doing right. We commit ourselves to too many things that simply don’t matter or doing things without being truly committed. Great brands always ask themselves will it really matter - if it will it’s worthy, if it won’t it’s a distraction.

Who has been your biggest influence?

It’s actually what rather than who: sport and specifically team sport. Success is about bringing diverse talent together and aligning it to a common goal - in work as in sport. This can drive outcomes that would otherwise not be possible.
My philosophy of building teams, built on the sport model, is to surround yourself with people who are better at doing their role than you would be, thereby liberating you as leader to commit to your unique role: to make those people the success they deserve to be!

What is your most hated business expression?

Customer Care! The reason people are using it is likely because the brand didn’t care, or care enough, to build the product /service properly to deliver high quality, replicable experiences. Service is an end to end, all encompassing commitment, Care is “clean up on aisle 3!”.

How can marketers be braver?

Be willing to color outside the lines, recognizing that great brands live on perception not reality. Marketers must be willing to drive the perception ahead of the reality and then to galvanize the business to catch up. If you do that you can live up to the ultimate accolade - “we’re a brand that runs a business, not simply a business that operates a brand”.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?

Moving to the USA at 52! It’s like going to the Oscars naked, you know you were worthy of the invite but you can’t be sure anyone will recognize you without your clothes on. My entire brand and reputation had been built over 30 years in the U.K. so it was like starting all over again! Scary and exciting in equal measure - and I’m still here and loving it!

What’s your favourite word?

Why. Ultimately everything is about purpose and “why” is the code that can unlock it. I’m a 15 yo curious kid and “why” is the jet fuel that drives me in every aspect of my life to this day.

Tell us a secret

My middle name is Mary! (why - because I’m from an Irish catholic background). I was embarrassed until I was about 16 and now I think it’s a gift - a get out of jail for that “tell me a secret” question!

Ronan is speaking at our Bravest Conference in New York 10 October 2019. To find out more and book tickets head here.