Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has a no one-on-one meetings rule for his 55 direct reports


Huang suggested that meetings hinder the company’s ability to react quickly to challenges. — AFP

Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jensen Huang avoids unnecessary meetings, prioritising efficiency over routine check-ins. Speaking at Stanford University, Huang disclosed his aversion to frequent catch-ups, even with his 55 direct reports.

“I don't do one-on-ones with any of them,” the billionaire executive stated.

Huang highlighted that frequent meetings would clutter his schedule and hinder the broader team's capacity to address challenges, work effectively, and maintain transparency.

“They never hear me say something to them, that is only for them to know,” he said. “There's not one piece of information that I somehow secretly tell the staff; I don't tell the rest of the company.”

“In that way, our company was designed for agility. For information to be to flow as quickly as possible. For people to be empowered by what they are able to do, not what they know,” the 61-year-old tech entrepreneur added.

But that doesn’t mean he has no time for his team: Huang insisted that he still regularly catches up with his executive team – they just don’t need to set time aside in their diaries to be on the same page.

“I write no reviews for any of them,” he explained. “I give them constant reviews and they provide the same to me.”

But when an employee genuinely needs a moment of his time, Huang insists he'll “drop everything for them.”

Leaders agree: Unnecessary meetings are useless

Huang isn’t the first leader to argue that meetings aren’t the best use of time.

Pandora’s CEO echoed to Fortune that too many meetings result in every department or company issue getting “equal attention” – whether or not it needs it.

Despite spearheading the world’s largest jeweller, Alexander Lacik limits his catch-ups with management.

“There's only one, two, three activities that actually draw disproportionate value and the rest is just background noise,” he said.

“As time has gone by and I’m getting towards the end of my career, I'm much more clear on trying to insert myself where I make a high impact.”

Likewise, Zoom founder Eric Yuan thinks most meetings are such a drain on time that he’s developing a “digital twin” that can sit in on them while workers do things they’re more passionate about.

Ecommerce giant Shopify took one step further and actually axed all meetings involving more than two people last year, in a company-wide “calendar purge” meant to give employees more time to work on other tasks.

And even Jeff Bezos – a big fan of “messy meetings” – mandates a strict protocol to ensure they’re actually useful, complete with a six-page memo instead of a PowerPoint (because they’re too vague) and half an hour set aside at the start of the meeting to silently read it together before having “a really elevated discussion”. – Fortune.com/The New York Times

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