I first met Otto Berkes when he was one of the founders of Microsoft’s Xbox team, alongside three other crazy Microsoft colleagues. They hatched a crazy scheme to get Microsoft in the console business, and now it’s a multibillion-dollar enterprise. I wrote a book about them and the work they did as intrapreneurs, or a team creating a startup within a big company. And many years later, Berkes is still focused on innovation and intrapreneurship.
Berkes left Microsoft in 2011. Then he joined HBO to help usher it into the digital age with HBO Go. In 2015, he joined CA Technologies, one of the largest enterprise software companies, which dates back to the mainframe era. He serves as an executive vice president and chief technology officer. His goal in the past couple of years is to turn CA into a “modern software factory.”
While he works in New York, he helped start the CA Accelerator in Menlo Park, California, which fosters startups within the company and helps them get internal funding and traction. The goal is to give employees risk-free entrepreneurial experience and a chance to create new revenue streams for the big company. It’s a very enlightened approach to entrepreneurialism at a $4 billion company that was founded in 1976.
Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.
VentureBeat: How long have you been here now?
Otto Berkes: I joined in June of 2015, so I’m into my third year.
VB: What are your responsibilities?
Berkes: Helping set the strategic technical direction of the company, to really spearhead the types of product…