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Honeywell Chairman and CEO, Dave Cote, Discusses “Digital Darwinism” During Milken Institute's Global Conference

The digital revolution is transforming the way we live and work with exciting new products that connect us and incorporate software and data in new ways, but this revolution is also rapidly disrupting industries as never before. Honeywell Chairman and CEO, Dave Cote recently attended the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Santa Monica, California to participate on the panel discussion “Digital Darwinism: How Companies Can Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age.” Cote was joined on-stage by Nikesh Arora, President and Chief Operating Officer, SoftBank Corp.; John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry; and Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder, Ellevest, in a conversation moderated by Andy Serwer, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Finance.

Shrinking technology life cycles are forcing companies to think ahead or risk falling behind. Cote discussed how Honeywell is leveraging software to stay competitive and the challenges of integrating new technology applications into a traditional industrial business. Honeywell is focused on blending its extensive expertise in physical product manufacturing with digital software solutions to evolve into a premier cyber industrial company.

Cote stated that technology at Honeywell is both a point of differentiation and commoditization. “We’re kind of going through the same era we did 20 years ago in terms of how people are thinking about things – the Internet of Things, in particular. I see businesses doing the same sort of thing they did 20 years ago, which was, if you were a CEO, you knew you had to ‘do internet.’ And you heard all this stuff about ‘here’s our idea, here’s how big our market is. If the market is only 50% of that, we’re going to make a fortune.’ Well, the crash came, and you find out the market is really 1% of what you thought it was, and the idea made no sense. I see a bunch of that going on again today. You’re also going to have to differentiate, just like you always did. And you got to use technology to do that. For us, a lot of that is going to come from software and the work that we do there.”

Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank that publishes research and hosts conferences that apply market-based principles and financial innovations to a variety of societal issues in the US and internationally.
Rob Ferris
Corporate and Financial Media Relations