Robert Gannon, class of 1982 with a BBA majoring in Accounting, is one of the distinguished Zarb alumni featured on the School’s Web site. Below his brief bio and Q&A is a YouTube video with Mr. Freiberg.
As Senior Vice-President and Controller of 21st Century Fox, Robert Gannon is responsible for all internal and external reporting. He has worked at News Corp. (21st Century Fox as of June 30, 2013), in various senior accounting roles, since 1985.
What is your definition of leadership? What makes a good leader?
“Someone who allows people to grow underneath them and who promotes them. Over the years, I’ve had many people move on from positions here to other positions within the company. For example, the GM of Blue Sky Productions, which is our animation arm, is someone who was my assistant controller for a number of years.”
“If you want to be successful you have to have successful people under you. I always tell my people –if you’re not growing the people underneath you, you will be held back. A rising tide lifts all boats. You have one dead wheel it’s going to stop the car.”
How did Hofstra and Zarb help you develop your leadership style?
“The kids that come out of Hofstra … they’re people who are driven, wanting to impress, wanting to succeed and doing whatever it takes to make the boss happy and to get the task at hand done. That’s the mentality I always had. To some degree, not everything happens the right way for some people. But the harder you work the more the doors open. It doesn’t matter if your boss doesn’t recognize your talents, if you work hard something good will happen. Try to take as much as you can from any experience.”
You’ve talked a lot about the attributes of the typical Zarb/Hofstra student. Have you hired any Hofstra students in your time with 21st Century Fox?
“I’ve hired four or five candidates from Hofstra and one of the things that struck me right off the bat, I knew if you were coming out of Hofstra with an accounting degree, you were going to be prepared and you’d have a base of knowledge behind you.”