Fitbit General Manager Steve Morley's "direct" leadership style

In this part of our exclusive interview with Steve Morley, we learn more about the technology veteran himself.

For more Asia-Pacific CEOs and business leaders discussing their HR challenges, head to HRM Asia's dedicated Leaders Talk HR forum.

In this part of our exclusive interview with wearable device maker Fitbit Asia-Pacific’s Vice President and General Manager Steve Morley, we learn more about the technology veteran himself. Last week, the spotlight was on Fitbit's HR challenges and triumphs in an increasingly crowded market. 

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Steve Morley, Vice President and General Manager of Fitbit Asia-Pacific, says he has seen it all.

From compact disc players and video recorders to plasma televisions, digital cameras, mobile phones, and now wearable devices, Morley’s career has always intertwined with the birth of new products in the technology sector.

“I’ve been very lucky to have been at inflection points where brand new products entered the market,” he acknowledges.

Morley’s current obsession is now understandably with wearables, given that he is driving marketing and sales operations in Asia-Pacific for Fitbit. The American technology firm is still synonymous for its wireless-enabled devices that monitor and record health-related data for individuals.

Having spent the vast majority of his career in technology, Morley proudly recalls another recently-attained milestone.

“I’ve just hit 30 years in a leadership role,” he says, before adding: “That shows how old I am!”

One-on-one

I love: Challenges

I dislike: Being late on deadlines

My inspiration is: My family

My biggest weakness is: Working hard, but sometimes forgetting to play hard!

In five years’ time, i’d like to be: Doing something entrepreneurial – it’s never too late!

Favourite hobby: Watching all kinds of sports, especially cricket. 

Favourite quote: “Success doesn’t just come and find you, you have to go out and get it” - Unknown

Describe your leadership style.

I think I’m approachable, non-hierarchical, direct, and passionate. 

How would your employees describe you?

Hopefully exactly the same way as I just described!

They would probably say there’s a greater emphasis on directness and the passionate side of me.

What’s your biggest regret over such a long career?

I’ve just hit 15 years of living in Asia. I’m originally from the UK.

I came here in my early 30s but I wished I came here in my early 20s. It’s much more egalitarian here in Asia, and my career has been able to blossom more in Asia than it would have been able to in the UK.

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

Take risks, pick something and make it great.

What’s the best decision you ever made? 

Moving from the US to Singapore to further my career over 20 years ago.

What’s one thing people do not know about you? 

I am a decent cook though I have not done much cooking in recent times.

What is your top tip for leaders?

Work with people. Have people working with you, rather than them working for you.  

For more Asia-Pacific CEOs and business leaders discussing their HR challenges, head to HRM Asia's dedicated Leaders Talk HR forum.

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