During his commencement speech at the Haas Business School at the University of California at Berkeley -- of which he is an alumni -- Riccitiello said that his many failures over the last four years have helped him to learn and grow. According to Venture Beat, he attributes the Haas school's "students always" mentality, of learning from every failure as a way to set yourself up for greater success, as a big motivator in those dark times.
"Everyone falls down. Everyone loses a game or gets a bad grade," he said. "We had to do these three hard things when the press and the financial analysts told us we were crazy -- that the cutting was great, but the investment in digital was just not a good idea. It proved very hard to hear the negative drumbeat while tackling very hard challenges at work." Riccitiello said he "failed well."
"We are students of our own failure," he concluded. "We used our failure to shape and impel us to a better strategy. One that we believe will ultimately succeed in ways that our previous strategy, even if perfectly executed, could never have done."