David Roberts serves as president and CEO of Verra Mobility, which focuses on making life safer, easier and more connected for its customers.
We rally to the cause of our customers. Relationships with our customers are what set us apart, driving innovation and delivering consistent results.
David Roberts, Verra Mobility
David Roberts has served as Verra Mobility’s President and Chief Executive Officer since August 2014. Verra Mobility is a global leader in smart transportation. David brings more than 24 years of management experience to Verra Mobility. Prior to Verra Mobility, from April 2012 to August 2014, David was the President and Chief Executive Officer of BillingTree, a multi-channel electronic payment platform company. Prior to joining BillingTree, from August 2008 to March 2012, David was a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, leading the Equity Plan Services business. David joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch via sale of Equity Methods, where he served as Chief Executive Officer.
What defines a successful leader?
A successful leader is someone who is committed to a cause greater than themselves and dedicate their time, talent and energy in guiding people to that purpose. Successful leaders realize that real significance in life is not possible unless what they do contributes to the welfare of others.
Culture and talent are important to any company’s success. How do you engage and inspire your workforce?
- Our employees are critical to our success, because their relationships with customers and problem-solving skills are what deliver our customers their mobility solutions. Many of these employees are motivated by the safety it provides in cities and on roads; this gives them a higher purpose. I believe in the 4Fs of leadership: Fair, Firm, Friendly and “not too” Familiar
- Fair: We always look to leave more for the employee than the organization. We default to the side of the employee because that is what drives and grows our business (something nice).
- Firm: I am firm in setting and conveying my expectations to ensure our company, employees and customer goals always exceed them.
- Friendly: I’m pretty friendly to ensure our employee base feels appreciated and known for their work for our company – making Verra Mobility a great place to work.
- Not too Familiar: I go broad versus deep in my work relationships. I try and spend time with each Verra Mobility employee. We all share common goals to grow together and work toward success for our customers. However, I don’t want any relationship at work to inhibit objective judgement to make good decisions.
Innovation and disruption are reshaping industries every day. What do you see as the number one game-changer facing businesses today?
The speed of change or innovation is the number one game-changer I see today. Today, we’re talking about new technologies like self-driving cars and AI and quantum computing. It’s surpassed the point of incremental innovation to becoming truly pivotal. For example, mobility technology and solutions are becoming smarter, more connected and more automated every day. We’re in close contact with our customers to listen to their needs and deliver the solutions to meet this intersection of smart mobility with solutions to solve their complex problems.
Challenges abound in today’s fast-changing business environment. What keeps you up at night?
I think every leader is maniacal about preparing for the future of innovation and ensuring their technology and solutions are continually keeping pace with the ever-evolving world, especially given our customers’ unique needs. For example, as mobility becomes more complex, connected and automated, Verra Mobility works behind the scenes to help make transportation safer and easier. How do we continually meet and exceed our customers’ mobility challenges? That’s what keeps me up at night.
Why did you join Bloomberg Breakaway?
I joined Bloomberg Breakaway to not only learn from other CEOs and leaders, but also to contribute to the thought leadership to help guide other leaders in similar industries or tangential spaces. I look for reciprocal learning opportunities in the leadership and company growth space. As a company that recently went public from a founder-led, private company, I believe I have a lot to offer others, as well as learn from others. I’m eager to share how Verra Mobility is looking toward the future and helping to make transportation smarter, safer and more connected. Our company mission is to make sure every city is safer, and I’m sure many other CEOs have that same passion.
Even CEOs need downtime. How do you recharge?
Taking a break from work is critical to recharge. I spend time exercising, volunteering with charitable organizations and engaging with my family.
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