Think Global, Act Local
Hoffman recognizes Koplitz's accomplishments over the long haul, and the characteristics that have contributed to his success. "People recognize that Dick has a lot of experience in the field," he notes. "[I appreciate that] his primary objective is to save the shareholders money. He has no personal agenda, he's all about what's best for the company.
"[Internal] suppliers are open to working with Dick because he brings to them savings and opportunities," Hoffman adds. "[Outside] vendors respect him because he treats them fairly and he's honest. They know that, while his job is to deliver the best product for us at the lowest price, at the end of the day the deal will be mutually beneficial. That's why almost all our deals evolve into long-term partnerships."
Koplitz believes that he's getting as good as he's giving. "I've really enjoyed the last 15 years," he declares. "And I must admit that my experience with Pearson has been wonderful. I'm working for a company with a great management style and great people, like Phil Antoine [assistant vice president of global sourcing for Pearson]."
Antoine returns the compliment: "I've known Dick since November 1993 when I came to work for Simon & Schuster as manager of production consolidation, and I've worked closely with him ever since. He has very strong management skills and works well with other company executives.
"You know exactly where you stand with Dick, which is one of the things I admire most about him and that I try to emulate," Antoine continues. "[He's also] very open minded. We may not always agree, but, over the years, we've learned to agree to disagree. In any case, he always listens, and he's quick to praise. Due to that we've been able to get and retain good people."
On a professional or personal level, Koplitz undoubtedly is a people person. "He's a good man, an excellent father and a good husband," reveals Lehigh's DePaul. "He's a very bright man, loyal to the company, all the good things that an employee should be. I can't speak highly enough of him."