LEAD: Leadership Through Disruptive Times

Recorded On: 05/04/2021

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Each business may be faced with disruptive challenges. The automotive industry is experiencing significant and fast-paced change through improvements in autonomous driving, electric cars and hydrogen fuel. The Cryptocurrency market is shaping the future of how we make and accept payments. Leading effectively through changing times takes strategy, adaptability, and guts. 

Our speakers are champions for their teams to try new things and not be afraid to fail. Enjoy this Q&A session with these leaders as they share what they have witnessed and implemented, and the influence change has on how they lead. 

This session was developed by the Leadership Development Committee for the 2021 Leadership Meeting.

Ulrich Kreutzer (Moderator)

Managing Partner

CBDL Patentanwaelte (Germany)

Ulrich Kreutzer is German & European Patent & Trademark Attorney, also admitted to act before the Austrian Patent Office. He has been working in the field of intellectual property since 1993.

While he specializes in litigation proceedings, his background is physics and artificial intelligence. He worked with the German Cancer Research Center on self-learning image processing and medical device. He read physics and philosophy at Ruhr Universität, Bochum, University of Sussex and Ruprecht Karls Universität, Heidelberg.

He lives with his wife and four children in Moers on the Lower Rhine (close to Düsseldorf) and, although being a ski instructor, he also enjoys off-mountain sports like golf and soccer. 

Jim Baumbick

Vice President, Enterprise Product Line Management, Strategy, and Planning

Ford Motor Company (USA)

Jim Baumbick is Vice President, Enterprise Product Line Management, Ford Motor Company, effective Sept. 1, 2018. At the same time, he is elected a company officer. He reports to Hau Thai Tang, Chief Product Development & Purchasing Officer, Ford Motor Company.

In this role, Baumbick is responsible for global product strategy and planning as well as leading the global product line teams that are using deep customer insights to deliver products customers really want and value and to drive end-to-end business results.

Previously, Baumbick served as executive director of Global Product Planning and Strategy. In this role, he led the development of the company’s flexible modular architecture approach, a key enabler for product development fitness. Baumbick also developed new capital allocation and cycle planning processes to prioritize winning businesses to support the company’s overall fitness efforts.

Baumbick joined Ford in 1993 as a Ford College Graduate. Since then, he has served in a variety of roles core to the product development process, including financial and profit analysis, engineering, product planning and program management, as well as operations. Specific roles included chief engineer of Unibody Products, engineering director for Asia Pacific & Africa, director of global product development quality and GPDS, the company’s product development system.  In addition, Baumbick serves as the vehicle line and platform director for development of Ford’s front-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive flexible architecture.

Baumbick’s leadership was recognized early in his career when he was named a recipient of the Automotive Hall of Fame’s Young Leadership and Excellence Award in 2003. The award, given since the 1980s, recognizes up-and-coming automotive professionals who demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities in their work.

Baumbick holds a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University as well as a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Michigan State University.

Kirupa Pushparaj

Deputy Counsel, Head of Intellectual Property and Legal Operations

Square Inc. (USA)

Kirupa Pushparaj is the Director of intellectual property at Square, Inc, where he leads a team that is responsible for all aspects of Square’s intellectual property globally. He protects Square’s innovation and rights by managing its patent, copyright, and trademark portfolios and is responsible for all of Square’s IP litigation, covering patents, domains, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Additionally, Kirupa leads Square’s legal operations team that is responsible for championing innovation, efficiency, and adoption of emerging technologies across the legal team.   

Before Square, Kirupa was IP counsel for Lab126 – the digital technology arm of Amazon.com – and was at Perkins Coie LLP before that, where he practiced patent prosecution and IP litigation. Prior to practicing law, Kirupa was a practicing engineer, first as a software engineer at Siemens Telecommunications Limited, and then as a hardware design engineer at Intel Corp., where he worked on semiconductor circuit design and process technology.

Kirupa enjoys teaching and has been an adjunct professor for over ten years at various California universities, including Stanford University, the University of the Pacific, and the University of California, Davis. He has been recognized as a Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers, as Corporate IP Counsel of the Year by the San Francisco Business Times, as Corporate IP Star by Managing IP, as Best Under 40 Lawyers by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and has been included in the IAM 300 list of World’s Leading IP Strategists. He has also received multiple Wiley W Manuel awards for his continued pro bono services. He serves on the boards of the Silicon Valley IP Law Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association and is an advisory board member to a couple of tech companies in the Silicon Valley.


LEAD: Leadership Through Disruptive Times
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