When companies have a CEO or other exec who is charismatic and is already engaged in industry thought leadership or public policy, that can be a great fit for a podcast concept and host, if they are willing to prioritize the time. Tools and Weapons is both a podcast and a book of the same name from Brad Smith, Microsoft Vice Chair and President. (The book is co-authored with fellow Microsoft executive Carol Ann Browne.)
Brad is a compelling voice for tech policy, having run Microsoft’s Legal department among other responsibilities. He brings a nice mix of his own principles to technology innovation, like in the “Governing AI: A blueprint for our future” episode, as well as sharing the spotlight with other impressive guests both from within Microsoft and a range of other industries. Most company podcasts hosted by an exec tend towards telling company stories or interviewing customers, making it all the more impressive when a show can carve out a space more widely around themes of policy and society.
(Shoutout to the full credited team: Carol Ann Browne, Aaron Thiese, Corina Hernandez, Jordan Rothlein, Jennie Cataldo, Sam Kirkpatrick, Angular Wave Research, Listen.)