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John Harrington

President & CEO
Nokia Japan

Date of birth: Aug. 4, 1969

Hometown: Swindon, England

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): Less than 1 (as of October 2018)

John Harrington
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I noticed that people take pride in their work, are conscientious and loyal. Business etiquette is very professional, polite and punctual. The workplace, like the city, is very well organized. I’m very impressed with public transportation system and how easy it is to move around the city.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

“He who dares wins.” I have chosen this because it reflects an entrepreneurial spirit of taking risks. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. I’ve worked in Europe, North and South America and now Asia and I’m grateful for the opportunities and experiences I’ve encountered by daring to take on new challenges.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I’m proud to have secured 3G and 4G LTE network contracts with AT&T. These contracts led to considerable business for Nokia and created many new jobs. I feel proud to have developed and won the business. After the 3G award, I relocated my family from the U.K. to Atlanta to manage the customer team for several years. It was a professional and personal adventure.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I want to make Nokia the employer of choice in telecommunications in Japan. I want to foster an environment of innovation and creativity where people share their ideas and collaborate. By 2020, I want our workplace to improve our efficiency and productivity by 20 percent. I would like to create a legacy of improving Nokia’s business and positioning the company for growth in the next generation of networks.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Respect the culture and etiquette, and don’t try to cut too many corners or impose a completely new style. Raise your emotional intelligence, understand nonverbal communication, read body language and appreciate the integrity of doing business in Japan. Earn respect with honesty, humility and by listening to your employees and customers.

Last updated: Oct 15, 2018