Larry Blue

CEO, Bell & Howell

Since joining Bell & Howell in 2014, Larry has evolved the company from a production mail equipment manufacturer into a premier provider of industrial automation services. Larry graduated from Duke University with BS and MS in electrical engineering and has over 35 years of experience in product development, sales, and manufacturing. He has a strong record of innovation and success in managing international high-tech manufacturing and product development efforts at companies like Flextronics, RF Technologies, Hughes Network Systems, Hi-G-Tek, and IBM. A prominent, results-oriented visionary, Larry is passionate about cultivating an environment of change. He instituted innovation labs, championed innovation management processes, and spearheaded the digital transformation that powered Bell & Howell into a technology-enabled, “services first” company. 

Bell & Howell is a North America-based services organization and former manufacturer of cameras, lenses, and motion picture machinery, founded in 1907. It is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Bell & Howell provides services related to automated equipment by leveraging innovative technologies and service capabilities. The company is rapidly undergoing digital transformation and is investing heavily in the tools, technology, and training needed to help its customers increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve their customers’ experience. The company also offers a complete portfolio of comprehensive automation solutions in retail “click-and-collect” and production mail automation. Bell & Howell has over 850 highly skilled field technicians and 24/7/365 customer service and technical support centers, as well as remote monitoring, diagnostics, and advanced analytics capabilities.

Key Theme: Fueling a Startup Culture

The transformation of Bell & Howell, a company founded in 1907, is an amazing success story. Many businesses face disruptive change, and their survival depends on how they traverse the so-called “valley of death” and successfully implement innovation from ideation to commercialization. Studies have shown that one out of ten innovative ideas fail because innovation leaders are often ill-equipped for the journey. A structured industrial innovation process, powered with strong digital leadership, propels a leader to successfully carry out the transformation. Bell & Howell’s success, in part, is attributed to its CEO promoting an entrepreneurial mindset so that a “startup” culture can co-exist and thrive within an existing legacy culture.   

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