Gary Wojtaszek’s CFO job at old-school Cincinnati Bell got decidedly modern when he took the helm of the data center business it was spinning out in 2011. After moving CyrusOne to Carrollton and taking it public in 2013, Wojtaszek has led the company to nearly triple in value.
First Job: “Mowing lawns in my neighborhood. It taught me that to be successful, you need to roll up your sleeves, work hard, not quit, and enjoy the task that you are doing.”
Why Data Centers? “I have always enjoyed business in general, regardless of the industry. At CyrusOne, I saw an opportunity to develop the company into a much larger, global concern.”
Toughest Challenge: “Separating and IPO-ing CyrusOne while simultaneously converting the organization from a C corporation to a Real Estate Investment Trust. This was also happening while we were in the process of moving our global headquarters to Dallas—all in the same year! We had some very long nights.”
Lessons Learned: “Never give up, and make sure you have a great team supporting you.”
How I Motivate Others: “Motivation is different for individuals. I have found that once you figure out the passions and interests of that person, the best way to motivate them is to provide structure, support, and the freedom to operate. Let them go build it and get out of their way.”
Proud Moment: “Cyrus-One had a record year of growth in 2018. We finalized a new strategic partnership with GDS Holdings Ltd., a leading developer and operator of high-performance, large-scale data centers in China. We also completed the acquisition of Zenium Data Centers, a leading hyperscale data center provider in Europe.
What Keeps Me Up at Night: “Making sure the CyrusOne team never loses its ‘mojo.’”
Scary Moment: “Seeing my son get clotheslined while playing football.”
What I’d Tell an 18-Year-Old Me: “Figure out your passion in life, and always keep it at the center of what you do.”
Beverage of Choice: “Bourbon”
Favorite Movies: “The Godfather and Saving Private Ryan.”
Who’d Play Me in a Biopic? “Denzel Washington. I think he is the best actor alive.”
Hobby/Passion: “I love being in the great outdoors: skiing, sporting clay shooting, and mountain biking.”
Looking Ahead: “We are in the beginning stages of a digital and cloud tsunami that is changing the way companies consume IT resources. We can build data centers faster and at a lower cost than anyone in the country. We have nine of the 10 largest cloud companies as customers, and they are all challenged in trying to forecast customers demand and, in turn, their capacity requirements. Our ability to deliver large amounts of capacity very quickly solves these issues.”
An abbreviated version of this Q&A appeared in the 2019 Dallas 500, a special publication produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential executives.