John Bernard

EMEA Marketing Director of Dexcom

“The future is changing and new graduates will help drive innovation,” said John Bernard on receiving his Honorary Doctorate of the University. John Bernard graduated from the University of Huddersfield in 1995 and has held a string of senior marketing positions with global companies, like Ericsson, Siemens and Mozilla. He is currently the Marketing Director for Dexcom, the San Diego-based medical devices manufacturer. John has won a number of awards in his career including been named the Marketer of the Year by Marketing Week in 2013.

BODY-mounted sensors will soon be able to gather and transmit information about people’s medical issues, just as web companies such as Google gather data about individual Internet use, according to global marketing expert John Bernard when he returned to the University of Huddersfield to receive an award.

Mr Bernard – who is currently Marketing Director for Dexcom, the San Diego-based medical devices manufacturer – is a Huddersfield alumnus.  Since his graduation in 1995, his career has included marketing roles with firms that include mobile phone manufacturers Sony Ericsson, Siemens and LG Mobile.  He has also been Global Marketing Director at Mozilla, which developed the web browser Firefox.

Now, he has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Huddersfield, and after the honour had been conferred at one of the July graduation ceremonies, Mr Bernard spoke to the audience of newly-qualified business students.

He illustrated his speech by producing mobile phones – including a “museum piece” from 1995 and the first camera phone to hit the market.  His point was to show the rapid changes that had taken place in the world of technology in the 23 years since he had graduated from Huddersfield.

“The future is changing,” said Mr Bernard, and new graduates would help to drive innovation.

“Just this year, we are going to be seeing the first self-driving cars launched in the USA and we are going to be seeing the first £10 mobile phone in Africa and emerging markets, “he continued.

Also imminent are sensors that will reveal internal bodily activity.

“Our friends at Facebook and Google actually know most of our digital footprint.  In two or three years, we are going to know all your physiological profiles, so if something goes wrong on in your body we will be able to tell you,” predicted Mr Bernard.

“You are going to be driving that future and that is so exciting,” he added.

An oration that outlined Mr Bernard’s varied international career – during which he was awarded the title Marketer of the Year by an influential journal – was delivered by Edward Kasabov, who is Professor of Marketing, Logistics, Operations, Hospitality and Marketing at the Huddersfield Business School.

“John’s has been a career of enormous responsibility, requiring a person of the highest calibre,” said Professor Kasabov.

“He has been a central figure in the ambitions of multiple mobile, marketing and healthcare companies over the years.  Yet that is only a part of an even more extensive CV encompassing a great many roles across sectors and lines of responsibility. 

“What they all share in common is John’s professionalism and personal hinterland.”