This week in the V3 Hot Seat, we have Aongus Hegarty, president of Dell for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Hegarty is responsible for the firm’s entire commercial business in the region, and is also the executive sponsor for Dell’s Global Giving Council in EMEA, overseeing the investment of significant funding to not for profit organisations.
Before joining Dell 12 years ago, Hegarty held senior leadership positions with Modus Media, Stream International and Digital Equipment Corporation.
Hegarty follows other IT industry luminaries in the V3 Hot Seat, including Canonical chief executive Jane Silber and Salesforce chief scientist JP Rangaswami.
V3: What would be your dream job?
Aongus Hegarty: As clichéd as it sounds, my current job is my dream job. I’ve worked at Dell for 12 years in various divisions of the business and my current role as president, Dell EMEA allows me to utilise all the knowledge I learnt along the way and to lead a team that I believe is dedicated, committed and aiming for the same goals I am. That said – I am a passionate sailor so if I was not in my current job I would likely be happiest captaining a yacht sailing around the world. Getting paid to do that may well be living the dream.
What was your first job?
My first job was when I was a student – welding cars for BMW in Munich. I think that it was this job that fuelled two fires for me that have continued to drive me to this day. The first is a desire to work in an environment of different cultures and the second is a pride in building products from the ground up that excite our customers and ultimately make it easier and more efficient to go about their business.
What is your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?
Change and innovation. The industry has gone through a number of significant tipping points in my 25 years and with each we have made massive strides forward. To see how technology can connect people, change and save lives and enable business to grow and prosper is hugely exciting and motivating.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
Without a doubt it is our chief executive and chairman Michael Dell. While that might seem a little predictable, it’s an undeniable truth. Michael has been responsible for a fundamental shift in this industry. His dedication to Dell’s customers has never faltered in the 28 years Dell has been in business and that alone is worthy of admiration. But it’s more than that, the biggest lesson Michael has taught me (and all that work at Dell) is to be pleased but never satisfied.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
When I look back over my career, I would say the highlight is being able to be a part of the work we drive in Dell EMEA working with charitable partners making a difference and Powering the Possible. We actively encourage our employees to dedicate their time to our strategic giving partners, and to give back to their communities. This year to date we’ve given over 36,000 volunteer hours across EMEA – and that is growing by the day.
What was the last book you read and was it any good?
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. It’s an excellent novel that I would highly recommend - the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime.
Who is your favourite band or musician?
Leonard Cohen, I’m a big fan and will be seeing him in concert again very soon.
Where is your favourite place for escape?
Lough Derg, County Clare, Ireland. We have a boat on the lake there and it is the perfect place to escape from day-to-day life and really relax and spend time with my family.
E-readers or real books?
For my own pleasure it’s always a real book. However, I also love what an e-reader or related software offers people. Apart from ease and efficiency, I think the opportunity to open up the joy of reading to more people is exceptional. It’s what’s so fantastic about technology in general – taking avenues that interest young people and using them to teach them about not just the world they live in but the world of opportunity that exists.
Books, whether real or electronic, enable people to dream outside of their own life, no matter how mundane.
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Easy question – always The Beatles.
It’s A Wonderful Life – an absolute classic that I have watched time and again.
Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN.