Otis’s Judy Marks to future CEOs: It’s ‘radically different than any other role you’ve had’



On this episode of Fortune’s Leadership Next podcast, Alan Murray sits down with Judy Marks, CEO of the 107-year-old elevator company, Otis, to discuss taking over the company as it was spun off from United Technologies, running an essential services business through the pandemic, and the company’s mic drop growth since 2020. The interview was conducted in front of an audience at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas.

Co-host Michal Lev-Ram joins Murray for the pre-interview conversation.

Listen to the episode or read the transcript below.

Transcript

Alan Murray: Leadership Next is powered by the folks at Deloitte who, like me, are exploring the changing rules of business leadership and how CEOs are navigating this change.

Welcome to Leadership Next, the podcast about the changing rules of business leadership. And Michal, I missed you down in Texas.    

Michal Lev-Ram: I missed you. Any time we have to do an interview alone, I think both of us get FOMO. But tell me about it. How did it go?

Murray: Oh, it was great. It was great. This was Deloitte University, and they were holding a session for about 20 people who’d been picked by their companies as potential CEOs of the future. So, it was a live audience, but an audience that was very interested in what our guest had to say.

Lev-Ram: Yeah, Alan, I want to hear all about it. You interviewed Judy Marx and there aren’t many women leading industrials on the Fortune 500. So, tell us about her and what do you think was the most interesting thing she said?

Murray: Judy is the CEO of [the] Otis elevator [company], which spun out of United Technologies just four years ago. And she’s done amazing things with the company in the meantime. You know, it operates elevators all over the world. She’s converted it more to a service organization. She had to lead through the pandemic, which is a tough time for everybody, particularly in the elevator business, and has had amazing results. So you’re right, it is rare to have a woman leading an industrial company like that. And she talked about that as well.

Lev-Ram: And I understand you also talked about tariffs and impact to consumers, which is a very, unfortunately, a very hot topic right now. Anything on that end you want to highlight?

Murray: I think I’ll just leave it to her to tell the story.

Lev-Ram: OK.

Murray: But I’ll tell you one other thing, Michal. It’s really fun to do these interviews for a live audience, particularly for a live audience that’s tuned in and plugged in the way the group down in Texas was.

Lev-Ram: Well, I’m sorry I missed it, but let’s go ahead and dive in because it sounds like a great talk. So here is your interview with Judy Marx.

Murray: Welcome to Leadership Next, the podcast about the changing rules of business leadership. I’m Alan Murray, and today I’m in sunny Westlake, Texas, with a live audience. We don’t very often have a live aud… [Applause.] Whooh! Yeah! And before I introduce our guests, let me tell you a little bit about the audience. We have, I think, 18 people here who have been selected by their companies as potential future CEOs. So, they’ve come down here to Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas, to learn about what it’s like to take on the top job. And that’s what we’re going to talk about a little bit. And then with them is a group of Deloitte partners. So, it’s a great audience. I appreciate you all being here and taking the time to listen and it’s going to be a great conversation because our guest is Judy Marx, the CEO of Otis Elevator. Judy, thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

Judy Marks: Glad to be here, Alan.

Murray: So, we met right before Otis [e]levator spun out of United Technologies with you as the CEO. I suppose we met in late 2019. The spin out happened in April of 2020.

Marks: April 3rd. Remember that date?

Murray: So right in the middle of the pandemic, what was it like to be suddenly CEO of a Fortune 500 company in the middle of a pandemic?

Marks: So it’s something that I would never recommend, [audience laughter] but it’s something that I think is really where you get tested as a leader. And for those of you here in the audience, the CEO role is radically different than any other role you’ve had. I was an operator engineer by background, grew up running divisions, running parts of companies. But to prepare yourself to, first of all, unwind from a company that had acquired us in 1976, to do this three ways because we did it, there was it was a three-way spin…

Murray: Carrier.

Marks: Carrier. And then United Technologies merged with Raytheon. So, it was a very complex spin to set up these three companies. Obviously in a tax-free scenario with everything that goes with that to the benefit of the shareholders to prove a thesis, which is focus counts, go back to your core and let your shareholders figure out really where they want to invest versus having conglomerates do the capital allocation for them. But as we kind of approached April 3rd, I remember seeing you, it was Super Bowl Sunday in February, early February of ’20 and…

Murray: We were in Puerto Rico. You’re not saying that we were.

[Audience laughs.]

Marks: We were in Puerto Rico at the last board meeting of the former parent, where it was a farewell and a get ready because it was 16 months after the decision. Everything was go. I came back, the next week was our first investor day at the New York Stock Exchange. An exciting time, except my head of China couldn’t join us because it’s already February of ‘20 and there was no travel at that point.

Murray: Well.

Marks: Then we went into an equity roadshow where everyone had warned me, You’re going to get exhausted because you’re going to be traveling all over. And guess what? We went virtual for two weeks. And during those two weeks, the state of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York shut down, right in the middle of that. And we were all, then couldn’t even go into the office to do our second week of the equity roadshow. And then the most exciting part was on April 3rd, we everything was a go. There was no way to turn back. We had the debt. I mean, everything was ready to go. We all wanted to go. And I vividly remember at midnight getting on a FaceTime live with, at the time what was 15,000 of our colleagues in China and basically starting the company and welcoming the company. Didn’t get to ring a bell. The stock exchange was closed, but we started there. And they had an app and they’re all standing there no matter where they are throughout the week. Think of China, right? And they’re all waving their phones because they had downloaded an app to ring a bell for us. [Audience laughs.] And so that’s how it started.

Murray: Wow.

Marks: And I was doing this from home, as many of us were. And it was our board, first day for the board to be in effect. We had met a few times before. We had formed a new board, but everything was being done real time in an essential service. Remember, if we couldn’t service elevators and hospitals and on transit, people weren’t going to survive.

Murray: Well, and as I remember, it wasn’t just an essential service. It was, there was an enormous amount of conversation about what can you do to make sure somebody gets on one of your elevators, they don’t get COVID while they’re on it. You know, are there ultraviolet lights? I mean, you had to be spending a lot of time talking with health officials about how to make elevators safe.

Marks: It was elevator safe. We manage and we actually service 2.3 million elevators now, it was a little less, it was just a 2 million then. And more than half of those are for, if any of you live in apartments or condos, people were depending on us to get their food every day. So it really we became a true essential service for the world. And we’re watching this move around. Luckily, we experienced it in China first. So like any good industrial, we said, okay, what lessons can we learn and how do we quickly transition that to the Americas, to EMEA [Europe, the Middle East, and Africa] and eventually to Asia?

And we went through this cycle for a couple of years, Alan. We all did. Again, trying to instantiate a culture, drive a new strategy, be part of a new board of directors, and at the time we were high 60,000 colleagues, keep everybody healthy and safe. Because that’s one of our absolutes of safety, not just for the riding public but for our own colleagues. And so it was I think it was the ultimate lesson in resilience, in tenacity, and I can tell you now as a now that I’ve been a CEO long enough, there was no one to ask. You couldn’t go to a retired CEO and say, Well how did…

Murray: Well, how did you get through the lesson? How did you get.

Marks: …through the last pandemic? So, there was actually this very unique community and almost an equalizer amongst CEOs where we would all jump on, you pick it, WebEx, Teams, Zoom, whatever anybody had, and they’d say, What are you doing? What are you doing? And it was a great equalizer because even though I was relatively new, even the experienced leaders hadn’t been through it.

Murray: No one knew. Yeah. Now everyone was new.

Marks: Everyone was new.

Murray: So I want to go back to sort of the fundamental point of the spin. I mean, you were president of Otis elevator before the spin. You became CEO of a public company after the spin. Was it different?

Marks: Oh, yeah. And it’s wonderful, in case you have any doubt.

Murray: Well so explain why.

Marks: Yeah. So the premise is when you get to make investment decisions, when you get to figure out how to motivate a workforce, when you get to serve customers and be focused on what you do every day, it can make a difference. As part of a larger conglomerate, we weren’t making those decisions and there was a time, as we look back from 2010 through 2018, that Otis was generating really good profit for the parent and really great cash. We were a wonderfully brilliant cash generation business, and we still are at over 100% in net income, but you could get profit in cash and not grow. And so we had eight straight years of no earnings growth as an elevator company.

Murray: You were the proverbial cash cow.

Marks: We were. We were. And everyone we knew that. And the parent company had set up an incentive plan that rewarded that. And so we were in a little bit of harvest mode. I joined in late ’17. We took a step back. At the time, the spin had not been approved by the board, but there was enough talk, activists were involved and I took the risk. And actually more importantly, Greg Hayes and the UTC board took the risk on me. And we you know, we just said we used ‘18 was the eighth year we had no earnings growth and we said we have to make a fundamental change.

Murray: Okay, so now I want to engineer a little drop the mic moment here. Eight years, no growth. What’s happened since April 2020?

Marks: Well, I’ll take you back. So we said 2019 is our proof year. We knew we were going to spin in April of ‘20 and we saw what kind of valuation multiple, what would we be worth if we had our ninth year of no earnings growth? It was just going to be unacceptable. So we stood back, we put a strategy in place, we put a transformation program in place for the first time in a really long time. Our company turned 107 years old last year, just so you understand the historic…almost every one of the colleagues had been their whole career had been at Otis. They loved the brand, they love the iconic company, but we had to change. So we did that in ‘19. were up almost 100 million in earnings. We spun in in April of ‘20 and the day we spun our stock open just under about $44 and today we closed at about 96. So we’ve had well over 100%.

Murray: Come on, guys. That’s pretty good. Eight years of no growth and doubled the value through a pandemic.

Marks: Yeah. A pandemic. Some supply chain challenges, expensive commodities, a few other, exiting Russia, a few other issues. So we are a truly global company and it’s great to see so many of you that are global. Of our now 71,000 colleagues, only 10,000 are here in the U.S. We’re headquartered here. We’re a U.S. multinational, but we wake up and breathe every day in every country and every city really, except sanctioned countries. We are a local distributed business where we serve people locally and where we have to empower people through our 1,400 branches to do that. So that was when, you think about transformation and change. It wasn’t about change at corporate. It wasn’t about change at a sales head. It was about change. In every branch, we had focus on serving the customer and converting to our our strength, which was our service business.

Murray: Yeah, So talk about that conversion because that was really key to what you did. You became much less of an equipment business, much more of a service business.

Marks: Yeah, well we still, we’re still growing, so for those of you that are in any businesses that are kind of raise your and raise your model, the good news is we make money on both. So we don’t we don’t sell the equipment at a loss. We average six, six and a half percent on the new equipment, but then we average last year 24% on our service business. And our service business is 60% of our revenue and 90% of our profits. It’s regulated, lots of different regulations, which creates a unique moat because every almost every city has their own safety codes, let alone every country. So, scale matters, density matters, and we’re the largest and honestly, the only U.S. multinational left doing this. We compete with Europeans and Japanese and Chinese. So it really is about understanding, and I’m sure you’re hearing this here, vision, mission strategy, but strategy, strategy, strategy and making sure at any corner in the world everyone understands what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, that it’s customer focused, and that they’re empowered to do it.

Murray: But couldn’t you have executed that services-focused business as a subsidiary of United Technologies.

Marks: Well, I think the change happened for two reasons. One is when you control your investments, you make those decisions. And when I joined Otis and looked at our R&D profile, not surprising, it was really focused on the equipment. And there’s good rationale for that. The China urbanization market had been booming from 2000 till about 2015, so it made perfect sense that you would invest and we’re an innovation company. But what I tried to do is say, well, where’s the innovation and service? And in fairness to the parent, I mean, IoT was nascent at that time. And so now you have the Internet of Things happening at the same time, so now we can actually get data through the cloud, understand exactly what’s happening real time on our elevator, so we can do proactive preventive maintenance where code allows, which is very few places we can do a remote. So it was a combination of technology happening at the right time and us making the right investment decisions and controlling our destiny.

Murray: Sustainability was also a part of that?

Marks: Absolutely. So, whether it I mean, remember, we’re in buildings and we’re in a lot of buildings. And I like to say it’s funny because everyone’s like, well, jeez, you know what, you’re trying to win back other elevators. I say, Yeah, none of them have moved. We know where they are, right? It’s a wonderful thing. So we can target, but what we did is we really listened to our customers, whether it was our customer advisory board and whether it was just the feedback we were getting on social media. As Alan knows, I’m out there and if any customer writes, if they post to me or send a LinkedIn message or they’re just frustrated, guess what? It gets handled. But we would also gather requirements that way. And what we’re hearing is people care. I mean, buildings generate a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas emissions. And matter of fact, if you look at Otis, when we got there and we looked at our scope one and scope two and now we’ve submitted for scope three for SBT II. But when we looked at our scope one and scope two, you’d say, Hey Judy, you’ve got 17 factories around the world, that’s where it is. And I’m like, That’s the smallest part of our emissions. The two bigger parts are our 22,000 vehicle fleet for our mechanics, and the biggest part is our building footprint, 1,400 branches, all these warehouses, depots. So customers came to us and said, How can you help us? How can you make us more energy efficient? So we actually have a regenerative drive for those of you that are technical, that allows us actually to be a distributed generation in the building. It’s when the counterweight comes, we’re actually pushing energy back into the grid in the building. We have technology, and you’ve probably seen this where where you select the floor before you ever get to the elevator because we group you, so the elevator can accelerate and not use as much energy. You actually get there faster. The building actually needs about 50% less elevators, and guess what? When they don’t need those hoistways, they can rent or sell that space. So to me, sustainability, it’s, first of all, our people are demanding it, our customers are demanding it. It’s just good for business. We’ve always been in the business of moving people. Now we’re moving people with rising incomes, now we’re moving people who are aging. So we have an incredible organic market ahead of us. And every now and then, elevators age, too. So not only are people aging, elevators are. And there’s a great technology refresh coming we call modernization.

Murray: And all of that, the new technology sustainability, all of that feeds your service model which is driving your profits.

Marks: Absolutely. Service-driven business model. And we tell our investors, if there’s one thing to look at, you know, beyond EPS and everything else you’re evaluating us on, look at our service portfolio. We have the largest one in the world and we say we’re going to grow at 4+% in our medium term guide. And as that grows, it’s just the flywheel that continues until about 15 or 20 years later when we modernize it and we start it all over again.

[Music starts.]

Murray: I’m here with Jason Girzadas, the CEO of Deloitte US, who had the good sense to sponsor this podcast. Jason, thank you very much for joining me.

Jason Girzadas: Thank you, Alan. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Murray: Jason, the majority of Fortune 500 companies have made commitments to reach net zero to address climate, but it’s still unclear how they actually get there. What’s the role of technology in meeting those ambitious goals?

Girzadas: There’s a broad recognition that the cost of climate change is far greater than the cost of not investing in it. Organizations will continue to utilize technology to move on the journey towards a decarbonized future and a more circular economy. We’re already seeing the benefit of technology through an increase in alternative energy sources. The advances in battery and storage technology are evident. You’re seeing the growth and increased performance of EVs at lower price points. So the impact and value of technology is being felt already, and that’s only going to continue. It’s pretty clear that climate change requires innovations that don’t exist today, but we do think that there will be new opportunities for innovation to be further accelerated through the development of ecosystems around emerging technologies.

Murray: There’s clearly a lot to do on this front. You talk to a lot of CEOs about this. Do you feel there’s a real sense of urgency on meeting these commitments?

Girzadas: The urgency is there. The call to action around climate change and the path to sustainability is there, and the impact of climate change is real. I think the narrative is shifting: one from it being a cost and an inconvenience to decarbonize our economy, to one where it’s actually a opportunity. The climate organizations that we serve are in their own way, charting a path to a sustainable future.

Murray: Jason, thanks for your perspective and thanks for sponsoring Leadership Next.

Girzadas: Thank you.

[Music ends.]

Murray: I want to talk about geopolitics because you are everywhere. You have…

Marks: Personally, too.

Murray: Personally, I’m sure…20% of the global market?

Marks: About 20%.

Murray: About 20%. I remember when we talked in 2020 your, at that time, China was everything because that’s where the buildings were being built. New buildings were being built in China. You were making your money off of new elevators and China was a huge part of your business. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, every company that I know of started to do a rethink and said, Hey, wait a minute, where is this relationship with China going? What’s happening in the Taiwan Straits? What does that mean about our business? How did you at Otis think about that?

Marks: Yeah, well, we think about it in a few ways and you’ll hear many CEOs, myself included, say, control what you can control, right? There’s two things we say we don’t control typically, macroeconomics and geopolitics. And that’s always a really good answer if you’re asked, because it actually happens to be true. But it doesn’t mean you can’t plan for it. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do scenario planning. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare your supply chain to say, I shouldn’t uniquely manufacture one thing in only one place or source one thing in only one place. We’ve learned all that right – just in time became just in case. So you really do have to plan. We had a very healthy business in Russia and we had a healthy business in Ukraine because we’re everywhere except sanctioned countries. And we made the decision in accordance with our values and our absolutes, to make sure that the over 2,000 colleagues had a new owner so that they would have their livelihoods. They had been with us for 30 years. We had a manufacturing plant in Saint Petersburg and we within a period of, once we decided of three months, we sold that business and exited and we were top share in Russia. But it was just the right thing to do. So you’re always balancing that. When it comes to China. You know, everyone says reshore. Everyone, you know, you hear China plus one. I’m here to tell you, first of all, we can’t reshore what we do. We manufacture local for local. In India, we manufacture for India. In China, we basically manufacture for China. But all that’s interesting except go back to the very beginning. We are a service-driven business, which means there are eight to nine million elevators in use in China. We service about just under 400,000 of them with a 4% market share. It’s a high-growth business. We have 17,000 colleagues. We are going to do business in China, follow the rules of China, be it data privacy, a dedicated data center, whatever it takes, and support our team there for as long as we can. And that’s our intent. Is everyone de-risking? Everyone’s de-risking, but you’re de-risking all your supply chains. It’s not just because of geopolitics.

Murray: So it hasn’t changed. It hasn’t changed your approach.

Marks: Not at all.

Murray: The market has slowed down a lot.

Marks: The new equipment market slowed down, service has picked up. So when you see that, before you see that happening, you want, you want a balanced portfolio. And we have a beautiful, balanced portfolio. We don’t have a single customer who’s more than 1% of our revenue. But we want a balanced portfolio. So we saw China emerging to be more becoming more of a mature market than emerging like Southeast Asia and India, which would be more emerging because right now they’re going through major urbanization. So we said let’s pivot more towards service. And so when we spun, we were about 85% equipment in China, 15% service. Last year, we ended at 75/25, and we’re going to continue down that path.

Murray: Yeah, Judy, as you know very well, frankly, there are just not that many women running Fortune 500 companies. It’s only at about 10% and it’s far lower when you talk about industrial companies, you know making elevators, heavy equipment, how do…

Marks: Are you supposed to grunt or something? What are you supposed to do there?

Murray: How did you get there? How did you do it? How did you end up running a big industrial company?

Marks: Listen, I have, this will be my 40th year in industry and I graduated as an electrical engineer. And I’ve pretty much always been in industrials and not by I mean, I joined an aerospace and defense kind of business when I got out of school. At the time, it was run by IBM, ironically, and then they sold it twice and it ended up at Lockheed Martin, and it was the mission that excited me. It was the pace of the technology. Remember, this is the eighties. So think about pace of technology. But it was that pace of technology and the mission of supporting the U.S. government, its allies, and that was important to me.

You know, as you move through your career and up in different ways, you want to, at least in my case, I wanted to see if my leadership skills could transition. So I spent my first 27 years basically with the same company and said, jeez, you know, if I really…

Murray: With IBM?

Marks: Well, it was Lockheed Martin at the time, but the first ten were IBM, then they acquired us. And so, you know, you do say if you want that shot, what other skills do you need? And, you know, it was one of those situations where after that many years, you kind of knew everybody, right? You get in the back, backchannel whispers, you got your network out there. You know everybody. You understand how the business runs. And so I wanted to be part of something truly global. And Lockheed is a global company, but it’s for our allies and it’s, it’s a little more, more limited. And I wanted the opportunity to see if my leadership skills could transition to a different industry, different customer set, where I knew no one. I mean, to me it was the ultimate test. And so I left there. I went to Siemens, 400,000 or so people, great innovative company.

Murray: And you were the U.S. CEO…

Marks: I eventually became the CEO of the U.S. and ran one of the oil and gas businesses we had acquired. And then the call came for Otis and at that stage in my career it was, I really wanted to be a public company CEO. I didn’t early on. I mean, I don’t think you wake up one day, but but as you move through.

Murray: Yeah, when did that…when did…I mean because in those early years you probably spent a lot of time in rooms where you were the only woman in the room?

Marks: Yeah, a lot of those.

Murray: And when did it first occur to you? You know, I could do this and I could do it well.

Marks: Yeah, I think. I think early in your career, at least, I’ll talk to the eighties and nineties. I mean, I was in some great, great corporations for development and you just trusted the people around you. And they said, “Hey, we think you can do this next assignment.” Even if you didn’t think you could, you said, “Well, if you think I can, okay, I’m competitive, I’ll try, I’ll learn.” And so that just continued. You took on more responsibility and then all of a sudden, you know, you look around when you’re in the kind of the top 50 of your company and you’re looking around and you’re like, “Maybe I can do this.”

Murray: “I can do this”.

Marks: It was more than maybe I think I can do this. And then the challenge is finding the opportunity to do this. And so for me, that meant leaving, giving up a defined pension benefit three years earlier, you know. But it was one of those questions I didn’t want to look back on at retirement and say, could I have done this? And so, you know, through a great series of opportunities and being surrounded by phenomenal talent, you’ve got to pick the best talent, and if they’re not, you’ve got to change them. And right now, I’m really proud to say, you know, I’ve got four presidents who work for me. Two of them are women. We have a board. Five out of the 11 are women. And it’s intentional.

Murray: Good for you.

Marks: It’s intentional, it has to be.

Murray: Right. Just to keep the story going a little longer. When you went to United Technologies to be president of Otis, did you know there was going to be a spin? Was that what why you went? Was it the opportunity to run a public company?

Marks: There was the hope, but never the guarantee there would be a spin and never the guarantee that I would be the selected CEO. And so it kind of felt like the rest of your career, right? It was like, do you want to take this risk?

Murray: Do you do you think you lead differently than the men who you worked for in your career?

Marks: I do.

Murray: And what distinguishes?

Marks: Well, there’s certain things that are common, extremely competitive, high learning ability. Hopefully a good EQ. But I would tell you, I think it’s how you motivate a team, how you collaborate and how you get the best out of a team because it’s not about you. It doesn’t matter where I work. Beautiful facilities, great labs, great technology. You know, everyone’s got that. It’s how do you serve customers and how do you motivate a team? And if you can put that together, the financials will work, everything will work, and you know you’re going to be successful.

Murray: You’ve been through this crazy four years, you know, pandemic, geopolitics, changing the business, the strategy, and the business model. We had a conversation earlier with this group about how lonely the CEO job can be. That particularly if you’re coming up through a corporation, all the people who were your buddies and your peers are suddenly working for you and they talk to you differently. You don’t get the same candid feedback from them. Who do you rely on for advice? Who did you lean on during that incredibly tumultuous period still going on?

Marks: Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, it’s interesting because I came in as the first outsider to ever run Otis. So it wasn’t even just first outsider and oh, by the way, quite a few of the people who were coming to work for me interviewed for the role internally. So you had that dynamic, too. But listen, what you learn is you need a few things. You need a group of very trusted people who are going to tell you truth because things get filtered and they really do. So you need to call one of them a loyal irritant as long as it doesn’t really bother them. You need someone who’s going to kick you under the table every now and then and say, “Okay, enough, Jude.” Right? They got your point. Okay, it’s enough. Let go. You need someone who’s going to say, I think be really good if this got on your calendar because you can’t be everywhere. So you need that group and everyone, listen, I do believe people are well-meaning, but I also believe, at least in our case, because most of the leaders had come from inside the company and had never been officers in a public company, this was a stretch for them. The expectations were different. They were never developed to do this like you guys are going through. They just didn’t know what was supposed to what was expected of them. And then all of a sudden at this stage in their lives, for those expectations to change and jump so high, they didn’t all make it. And the most important thing you can do then is continue to develop new talent.

Murray: Judy, you recently became the chair of the Business Roundtable’s trade committee. The Business Roundtable is, of course, the organization that interfaces with government and politicians on behalf of large companies. That strikes me as a pretty thankless task. You’ve got two candidates in this election, both of whom are eager to impose more tariffs. Donald Trump was on TV this morning saying he loves tariffs, 60% on cars.

Marks: Chinese cars.

Murray: Chinese cars is whatI think he said this morning.

Murray: Why did you take that on and what do you hope to do? Is anybody listening to the business community on this issue?

Marks: Yeah, listen, I think our voice needs to be heard. Whether it resounds and people are listening or not is almost a second order derivative. Our voice needs to be heard because as leaders of U.S. multinationals, we believe in jobs, we believe in growth of the economy, and we believe that growth includes the ability to have market access throughout the globe. It’s just that simple. Because what that does is it creates more jobs here in the United States. It creates more opportunities. The tariffs that we experienced over the past four years, five years that started in President Trump’s administration and continued in the Biden administration, for any of you that are involved here in the U.S., basically became, our ability was to flow them through on price. You couldn’t do it immediately. If you had backlog, you had to digest that. You had to basically eat it from a financial perspective. But then you you figured out that this was going to be an ongoing cost, just like lots of other costs, just like wages, everything else. And unfortunately, it was the U.S. consumer who ended up really paying for these tariffs. So, you know, I, I don’t believe isolationism is the way to go because we do business all over the world and we have to be all over the world to do business. Does that drive more R&D here in the United States? It does. Does that drive more IP here? Absolutely. Does it drive more jobs here? Absolutely. Does it create a thriving economy in the U.S.? It does because we have access, and we can compete globally versus not having access to those markets and being able to spread our costs and deal with that and develop, honestly, other markets drive different demands and some of those markets make us better here. So I’m listen, we’ll see what happens.

Murray: Good luck with that, Judy.

Marks: The message needs to get out there because it’s more than a message. It’s more than a story. We’ve proven it now for decades that trade matters.

Murray: Last question here. You’ve more than doubled the market cap of the company over this very tumultuous four-year period. What’s next? What’s the next five years look like for Otis? What do you hope to accomplish?

Marks: Yeah, this like I said, this will be year 171 for us. So, talk about an iconic company that created the industry and still leads it. So the next five years we will still lead it and what it looks like, I’m not going to call interest rates. Remember the two things you don’t control, macroeconomics. So are there going to be ups and downs? Sorry about that.

Murray: It’s an elevator joke.

Marks: It’s an elevator joke. Are there going to be ups and downs on new buildings? Of course there are. Depends where you are in the globe. You know, the megatrends are going to help us in certain parts of the world. In other parts of the world, we’re going to have headwinds. Our service business is going to carry us through and that alone gets us to nice growth. But what’s coming, which is even more exciting and not a lot of businesses can say this, Alan, is we have this organic opportunity in front of us because of the 20 plus million elevators that are out there, 7 million are over 20 years old and need refurbishment, need technology insertion not just for sustainability but for improved usage, for access, for handicapped. We have that market, that annual market will be bigger than the new equipment market before the end of the decade. And so where else for this iconic company can you find a market right in front of you with organic growth for an industrial? So, I’m excited.

Murray: Judy, your elevator enthusiasm is infectious. Let’s please give Judy Marks a round of applause.

Murray: Leadership Next is edited by Nicole Vergara.

Michal Lev-Ram: Our executive producer is Chris Joslin.

Murray: Our theme is by Jason Snell.

Lev-Ram: Leadership Next is a production of Fortune Media.

Murray: Leadership Next episodes are produced by Fortune’s editorial team. The views and opinions expressed by podcast speakers and guests are solely their own and do not reflect the opinions of Deloitte or its personnel. Nor does Deloitte advocate or endorse any individuals or entities featured on the episodes.



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