William Santana Li: The Future of Security

In this awe-inspiring episode of Championship Leadership, we are thrilled to interview William “Bill” Santana Li, a Chairman and CEO of Knightscope Inc. -an American Security and Robotics Company that provides the security of patrols as well as a physical presence that delivers real-time, actionable intelligence anytime and anywhere, giving you and your security team the ability to detect and react faster. He will detail the inspiration behind the creation of his company and the difficulties he had to defeat as a founder.

You want to know more about William’s passion? Tune in to this episode!

In This Episode:

[2:00] What does Championship Leadership mean to William?

[3:00] Who is William “Bill” Santana Li and what brought him to where he is today?

[15:41] Leaders that have influenced him.

[23:50] His vision, future plans, and the impact he wants to make.

[29:28] A turning point inside of his life.

[33:01] Episode takeaways.

Important Quotes:

“Championship leadership means you’ve got to really strive for it. You got to pick something that you’re deeply almost irrationally attached to.”

“The track or the journey to becoming a leader can be a very long one, and you’re going to get challenged in every which way possible.”

“The founder’s diet? You get punched in the face for breakfast. You get kicked in the stomach for lunch, and then you get a body slam for dinner, and then you gotta get up the next morning, put a smile on your face, turn on the camera and get back at it.”

“The best thing you can tell me is to keep telling me no, and I’m going to show you how wrong you are.”

“You have to be passionate about what you’re doing. Life is really short. You need to do something you love and make a big impact.”

About The Guest:

William (“Bill”) Santana Li is an American entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience and has a broad and deep range of expertise gained from several global assignments in the automotive sector and a number of startups. He is presently the Chairman and CEO of Knightscope, developer of crime-fighting Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs).

At Ford Motor Company, Bill held over 12 business and technical positions, focused on 4 continents, cutting across each functional area. These positions ranged from component, systems, and vehicle engineering with Visteon, Mazda, and Lincoln; to business & product strategy on the US youth market, India, and the emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and South America; as well as the financial turnaround of Ford of Europe. In addition, he was on the AMAZON team, which established an all-new modular plant in Brazil. Subsequently, he served as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions.

After internally securing $250 million, Bill founded and was COO of GreenLeaf, a Ford subsidiary that became the world’s 2nd largest automotive recycler. Under his leadership, GreenLeaf grew to a 600-employee operation with 20 locations and $150 million in sales.

 At the age of 28, Bill was the youngest senior executive at Ford worldwide.

Bill was then recruited by SOFTBANK Venture Capital to establish Model E Corporation as its President and CEO, a new car company where the “Subscribe and Drive” philosophy was first pioneered in California. He subsequently co-founded Build-To-Order Inc. (BTO) as its President and CEO, a new car company based on the direct distribution of build-to-order products. Bill also founded Carbon Motors, and as its Chairman and CEO, focused it on developing the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle. He also built a world-class advisory board comprised of senior officials that had worked directly for 3 different U.S. Presidents.

Bill earned a BSEE from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy.




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