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Will Nvidia be the first company to have an AI CEO as CEO?

Analysts such as myself are asked, as is typical when a company leaps ahead of its peers, what makes Nvidia more successful. My peers may give different answers but I believe there is a single main reason for Nvidia’s success. It is Jensen Huang.

Huang has three distinct advantages over other CEOs. Huang’s technical ability allows him the freedom to develop and execute his vision. Huang is also a company founder, a position that usually grants him unusual loyalty and control over the business. Lastly, he has been the longest serving tech CEO of recent history.

Thomas Watson served as IBM’s first founder and CEO for 42 years, during a time where IBM pretty much was the dominant company. It is a good idea to use Nvidia was not the only successful company in the technology industry.

Thomas Watson possessed the same advantages as Huang. Watson’s son, Thomas Watson, Jr., assumed control of IBM and inherited the same advantages. He was additive, which helped IBM reach even greater heights. Huang has a Nvidia employee son named Spencer. His true heir would be AI. This could either be Spencer or Huang’s successor. This week, let’s discuss that.

My new favorite smartphone is the Google Pixel Fold.

Overcompensation is the main reason why the CEO’s job is not working.

Both public and privately-owned companies are affected by the overcompensation of their CEOs. CEOs were not always the highest paid positions.

When I was first in the tech world, my job included managing compensation. Some of the sales reps that I managed made more money than the founding CEO. The founders held founder stock which increased the CEO compensation after that stock was sold. The CEO’s compensation was not as high as it is today. The compensation of today’s CEOs is excessive, which leads to three major problems.

  1. Disparity between the two creates friction in the workplace, as employees feel they’re doing all the work and the CEO is getting the reward. The situation becomes particularly difficult when the CEO implements a plan of layoffs or salary reductions and employees feel unfairly treated, even though the CEO is still making a lot of money. It reduces the loyalty of employees to the CEO and makes the company less effective.
  2. The CEO will acquire items that must be managed and take time away from their job. The CEO is motivated to acquire things that need to be managed, which takes away from their ability to perform the job for which they are hired. It also makes the employees feel that the CEO is exploiting them, especially when there are cutbacks.
  3. Overcompensation may give the impression that the CEO is able to do whatever he or she wants. The CEOs are used to the extreme money and authority and think the rules don’t apply to their situation. However, they learn the hard way some rules do. It is not uncommon for CEOs to be fired due to misogyny or mishandling company assets.

The advantage enjoyed by founders

Successful founders are known to put the company first and not be excessive spenders. The fact that they sometimes overspend is not the same as saying they aren’t focused on their business and their employees.

While I agree that excessive compensation can degrade performance, this doesn’t seem like it would be a significant factor because the job and hobby they pursue are their passion and are part of their company. They are therefore able to perform better than their peers who are compensated more.

They also have a better understanding of the company because they were involved in its creation. They are better able to set realistic goals for the firm because they understand the firm better. The hired CEO may not understand the capabilities of the firm and they will avoid doing “the vision thing”, because they don’t wish to be perceived as failures.

The Problem of Succession with Founders

When a founding member leaves, the company appears to lose direction. IBM was in decline and was close to collapse when Thomas Watson Jr. quit. It was interesting to note that IBM didn’t die when Thomas Watson Sr. departed because Jr. took advantage of his father’s strengths and enhanced them as he had been trained to do.

But even though IBM had the best CEO program internally and the deepest bench of possible CEOs among other companies, it was forced to reset its structure and rebuild afterward because this “founder’s” capability lost in transition.

The founder CEOs of corporations don’t necessarily want them to remain eternal because they don’t want to have their successor overshadowed. Watson Sr., like most fathers, wanted his son to succeed even more than he did.

Most firms don’t seem concerned with succession. Most CEOs seem more worried that their successor will be selected prematurely — and for good reason, because that often happens, which conflicts with a good succession process.

Digital Human Benefits

Nvidia developed the concept of digital humans. These “digital humans” are designed primarily for customer service, sales, and support. However, they could replace almost any occupation. Cognition Lab has just launched its first AI software engineer, called DevinIt can write apps autonomously. It has been able to solve 14% of GitHub issues in open-source real-world projects.

This is only the beginning of the rise of digital human beings.

Digital humans have a number of advantages over non-digital human beings when it comes to succession. Digital humans would mimic the founder to the fullest extent, which wouldn’t reflect poorly on the creator. It would be hard to replace the original founder if it was able to outperform them.

It wouldn’t be distracted either by family or personal belongings, as it would not have them. A digital human would not have the drives which often lead CEOs to behave badly. However, you would want to make sure that the digital person’s information stream was secure and that it could not be hacked.

To put it another way, given the speed at which a digital CEO could act, ensuring that they are performing in the best interest of the company, its employees and investors, would be more critical than ever to ensure that a real-life CEO does not go off track.

Wrapping up Why Nvidia is bringing in the first Digital Human CEO

Nvidia’s founder Jensen Huang is the reason why I believe it will be at the top. Huang is also an AI advocate. This means that Nvidia does not just lead in AI solutions, but they use AI internally. Huang is a major force in the creation and usage of digital humans.

Nvidia’s greatest need is to create a digital person. It has the strongest foundation and would benefit from a showcase of how it could perform better than humans at certain jobs. The question becomes, “What could a digital person do?” and the list of things it couldn’t do gets shorter.

Jensen Huang is a seasoned professional with at least ten years’ experience. So, I doubt that this will be accomplished quickly. Even so, I think he would train his digital twin to be ready long before he left his company. And he may not create just one. I can see a future in which “digital Jensen Huangs”, as well as digital CEO assistants, are offered to companies as they become CEOs before the actual Jensen Huang leaves.

The Google Pixel Fold

Google Pixel Fold

(Image Credit: Google/YouTube)

Microsoft Duo 2 is my favorite smartphone. However, with Panos Panay leaving Microsoft, I do not think Duo and Surface will be around for long.

It’s rumored that the Duo 3 will fold, but I have a Duo 2 whose battery is so degraded that it cannot even last 5 hours. It’s not ideal because I use my phone to read. I decided to replace it. The dual-screen Google Pixel Fold It is the closest thing to the Duo 2 and Duo 3 (if they ever launch it; I doubt it).

This phone has been in my possession for about a month now. It is a great reader and it has a much better battery life than the Duo 2.

Pixel Fold, on the other hand, uses the Google Tensor G2 chip and not Qualcomm Snapdragon, which means it is lacking in several features. One feature I really miss is being able to watch movies on a head-mounted screen. The best thing about Snapdragon for me is that it just works. Alternatives simply can’t match that level of functionality.

At $1,799. The phone isn’t cheap. If I had the time, I would have bought the Pixel Fold 2 which will be released in a couple of months. My Duo had become unusable and I was desperate to get my phone working.

Since the Pixel Fold helped me solve my dying Microsoft Duo 2 phone problems, the Google Pixel Fold is my Product of the Week — and I really do enjoy using it.