Interview Transcript

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What does Yale have that people can’t buy elsewhere?

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Experience; market position. They have a vast product line. Yale also has all the other Assa Abloy companies on the commercial side. In the last part that I worked with Assa Abloy, I ran Emtek & Schaub in California; it was part of the residential group with Yale. I got very familiar with that side of the business. The big piece that Yale is bringing into the market, because of their advantages with the other Assa Abloy technologies, is that they've been able to make a very nice residential locking product for the front door. It works for the phone and allows people in from anywhere in the country. You can unlock or lock your door and see when it's open. They have that market presence, and they have the connections. But also what Assa Abloy has that the Google Nest – that I would say, to date, is lacking – are that network of feet and experience that raised those products into those new projects.

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How does Nest work? You stick this thing on the wall, and it's wireless, but how exactly does it connect to the doors? Imagine this in a commercial building.

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What Nest has done – and what some locks have done – is they've separated those loads that would happen between the door and the doorframe, and then they use what I've always referred to as the human motor. As they unlocked their product, then they allowed the human to turn a handle so that humans could probably still overcome those things. That's the advantage that Nest products and others like it bring to the market. Again, it could be a complete game-changer.

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Can you explain how the businesses worked together, as HES was taken into Assa Abloy? How did the integration process work with the other businesses?

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As I said before, I still take it down to the core of Carl-Henric Svanberg and that initial Assa Abloy management team. They set the tone for Assa Abloy. Over time, different CEOs have come, up to the current CEO today. It's changed because the companies have become bigger, and the shareholder demands are different. Still, the basic cluster of Assa Abloy hasn't changed, which is that Assa Abloy companies partner with Assa Abloy companies. Often they compete, but as far as a learning and cross-learning and pollination of technologies, I see that as one of Assa Abloy's biggest strengths. They have so many companies in literally every country in the world.

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