"Working on BMW products and watching someone else ride off into the sunset on them made me a feel a little bit melancholy," says Caddes, who now uses a wheelchair. "At the time of the accident, I almost instantly became a constant headset user."
And that's when he went looking for new work. Attracting talent from Nike and Nokia to Plantronics, Caddes now heads a team of 15 designers who are revamping headset construction and accessories as well as a corporate culture that used to treat designers like short-order cooks. "We aren't being asked to package technology anymore," Caddes says. "Literally, we are now defining product opportunities. We are driving technology choices."
Ellen O'Brien, a former senior editor at CIO Decisions, is now a senior editor at Storage magazine. Write to her at email@example.com.