Robert E. Siegel

Robert E. Siegel

Robert E. Siegel

Lecturer in Management

Research Statement

Robert Siegel researches strategy and innovation in both large and small companies, as well as the leadership opportunities and challenges that technological change brings to these firms. Specifically, he explores how companies combine digital and physical solutions for their customers. Robert also teaches product management and product development best practices and methods, as well as financial management for entrepreneurs over the life-cycle of growing companies. Additionally, he works on business and government engagement in the 21st century, and explores how global conflicts are being driven through economic policies shaped by national interests.

Research Interests

  • Systems Leadership
  • Corporate and Entrepreneurial Innovation
  • Financial Management for Entrepreneurs
  • Product Management
  • Venture Capital
  • Business and Government Engagement


Robert Siegel is a Lecturer in Management and has taught seven different courses in his time at Stanford. He has led primary research and written cases on Google, Charles Schwab, Daimler, AB InBev, Box, Stripe, Target, AngelList, 23andMe,, Majid Al Futtaim, Tableau, PayPal, Autodesk, Minted, Axel Springer, and Michelin, amongst others.

He is also a Venture Partner at Piva Capital and a General Partner at XSeed Capital. He sits on the Board of Directors of Luum, Avochato, and Findmine. He led investments in Sparta Science, Zooz (acquired by PayU of Naspers), Hive, Lex Machina (acquired by LexisNexis of the RELX Group), CirroSecure (acquired by Palo Alto Networks), Nova Credit, The League (acquired by Match Group), Teapot (acquired by Stripe), Brewbird, Pixlee TurnTo (acquired by Emplifi), and SIPX (acquired by ProQuest).

Robert is a Member of the Supervisory Board of HERE Technologies, and has been a Member of the company’s Industry Advisory Board since 2017. He is on the Supervisory Board of TTTech Auto AG, and is Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Board for TTTech Computertechnik AG in Vienna, Austria. He is a Member of the Industry Advisory Board for Tulco, and was on the board of SmartDrive Systems for 14 years (acquired by Omnitracs). He is the Co-President Emeritus of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, an alumni association that fosters relationships to strengthen the Stanford startup community.

Robert is the author of The Brains and Brawn Company: How Leading Organizations Blend the Best of Digital and Physical, has coauthored several articles for the Harvard Business Review and California Management Review, and is a frequent contributor to Fortune, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and Forbes.

Robert was previously General Manager of the video and software solutions division for GE Security, with annual revenues of $350 million. He was also Executive Vice President of Pixim, Inc., a fabless semiconductor firm specializing in image sensors and processors (acquired by Sony). Before Pixim, Robert was Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Weave Innovations Inc. (acquired by Kodak), a network services developer that invented the world’s first digital picture frame, and delivered photos and other digital media to PCs and internet / mobile devices.

Robert served in various management roles at Intel Corporation, including an executive position on their corporate business development team, in which he invested capital in startups that were strategically aligned with Intel’s vision.

Robert is the co-inventor of four patents and served as lead researcher for Andy Grove’s best-selling book, Only the Paranoid Survive.

Robert holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is married with three grown children.

Academic Degrees

  • MBA, Stanford GSB, 1994
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley, 1989

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2011-present

Professional Experience

  • Venture Partner, Piva, 2019-Current
  • General Partner, XSeed Capital, 2008-Current
  • General Manager, Video Software and Solutions, GE Security, 2004-2007
  • Executive Vice President, Pixim, Inc., 2001-2004
  • CEO and Co-Founder, Weave Innovations, Inc., 1998-2001
  • Senior Manager, Desktop Products Group and Corporate Business Development, Intel Corporation, 1994-1998

Awards and Honors

  • Case Centre Award Entrepreneurship Category Winner - AB InBev: Brewing an Innovation Strategy (2019)
  • Case Centre Award Entrepreneurship Category Winner - Axel Springer in 2014: Strategic Leadership of the Digital Media Transformation (2017)
  • MBA Class of 1973 Lecturer, 2016-2017


Journal Articles


Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

Learn to lead with confidence in this rigorous, general management program for executives on the verge of achieving even greater things.
Discover business growth strategies and build a stronger company designed to sustain progress, scale management, and facilitate market expansion.
Experience Stanford business and medicine in a health care leadership program featuring design thinking and personal leadership skill development.
Develop strategic frameworks, customer empathy, and communication and leadership skills to help you move from product management to the C-suite.
Leverage diverse research, proven methodologies, and design thinking for change management in this collaboration between Stanford and Harvard.
Gain a competitive advantage using Silicon Valley models and mindsets to recruit, retain, and inspire people for performance and growth.

Other Teaching

Programs and Non-Degree Courses

For over 60 years, global business leaders have come to the Stanford Executive Program to discover the innovative models and mindsets that are shaping the future of modern leadership and business.

Agile. Creative. Innovative. And yes, strategic, too. The demands on today’s chief operating officers have expanded far beyond optimizing resources and efficiencies. Successful COOs must also encourage and implement change in their organizations and create a culture that accelerates rather than hinders innovation. The Emerging COO: Driving Innovation and Operational Excellence will give you the strategies and leadership skills to innovate, collaborate, and execute.

Develop best practices and insights to generate and lead innovation in your organization; then put theory into practice with real-world projects. Innovation isn’t just for startups. In fact, established organizations have even greater opportunities to innovate — from the incremental to the truly transformational.

We are moving from an industrial economy to a digital one that blends both physical and digital solutions. Can mature organizations survive using the same systems that made them successful, or do those very systems put them at risk? Startups, on the other hand, are not limited by legacy organizational baggage, but need to be smart about how they approach non-technical industries. This course uses case studies to explore how the world’s best startups are taking on the world’s biggest companies, and how those large companies are adapting to survive. Ensure that your company isn’t overtaken by an emerging startup by learning how to prepare for this shifting landscape.

Can organizations with an industrial business model succeed in the digital landscape? Can companies with digital foundations be successful in a world of making physical products? This course examines a new generation of leaders as they create transformational change in the world’s largest and oldest companies as well as in rising upstarts. Using case studies and systems thinking, you’ll redefine the way you see organizations, resources, and people. Ensure that you’re poised to effectively lead your team or organization through digital transformation by mastering techniques of systems leadership.

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