Graduate Story: Mike Capone ’88

Mike Capone '88 a former Dickinson computer science major, is CEO of the software company Qlik.

Mike Capone '88 a former Dickinson computer science major, is CEO of the software company Qlik.

CEO demonstrates how to lead in the AI age

Dickinson major: Computer science

Current role: CEO, Qlik


As the CEO of Qlik, Mike Capone '88 guides the company's growth and innovation and ensures excellence in data integration and analytics, which are crucial for successful AI implementation. His strategic insight and ability to anticipate industry trends, particularly in AI, drive Qlik's success. Under his leadership, Qlik leverages AI to enhance decision-making and unlock new business opportunities.

What it takes

Capone’s success stems from leadership, critical thinking and a thorough understanding of business and emerging trends. His technical background, combined with a commitment to continuous learning and innovation, is key. Equally important is his grasp of the broader issues that shape technological, business and cultural shifts. This enables him to lead effectively in a rapidly evolving landscape.

How he got there

At Dickinson, Capone built leadership skills and connections as a member of Phi Epsilon Pi, volunteering for local organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. His liberal-arts education, combined with a computer science major, provided both technical expertise and a broad perspective.

“At Dickinson I learned how to program, I learned how to think about writing computer code, about designing systems, but much more important, I learned how to think in general, how to expand my mind,” Capone explained to Dickinson students during an on-campus career event.

This background served Capone well in graduate school at Pace University, where he earned an MBA, and at ADP, where he worked his way up to CIO and vice president of product development. His success as COO of Mediadata led to his current role as CEO of Qlik, where he continues to drive innovation.

The AI connection

“AI’s ability to accelerate decision-making, enhance precision and unveil insights previously obscured is not just transformative; it's revolutionary.” —Mike Capone '88 

Capone is committed to harnessing AI to amplify human creativity and productivity. He advocates for responsible and ethical AI use, emphasizing the importance of high-quality data integration. By ensuring that data is accurate and well-governed, Qlik helps businesses leverage AI to drive innovation and growth. Capone believes that AI, when used responsibly, can significantly enhance decision-making and unveil new business opportunities.

“AI’s ability to accelerate decision-making, enhance precision, and unveil insights previously obscured is not just transformative; it's revolutionary,” Capone says. Ensuring its ethical and responsible use, he adds, is about “nurturing a future where AI acts as a force multiplier for human potential, driving progress and innovation in ways we are just beginning to imagine."

Career advice

Capone’s advice for fellow CEOS:

  • foster a culture that embraces AI literacy and continuous learning
  • balance visionary enthusiasm for AI with practical, grounded approaches
  • ensure that humans manage AI inputs and maintain data integrity (“garbage in, garbage out”)
  • clearly define objectives and align AI capabilities with strategic goals
  • and treat AI as a collaborative partner, not a replacement for human intelligence.

“Understanding the symbiotic relationship between AI and human oversight is paramount,” Capone says. “At Qlik, we're committed to leveraging AI not as an isolated technology but as an integrated solution that amplifies human ingenuity and creativity.”

For individuals across a variety of fields and at every career stage, Capone recommends:

  • proactively experiment hands-on with AI and explore its applications within one’s own industry
  • and leverage AI to build skills and innovate.

“Remember, AI is more than a technological trend; it's a paradigm shift in how we interact with data, solve problems and drive innovation. By immersing yourself in AI, you're not just preparing for the job market of today; you're equipping yourself to be an active participant in shaping the future,” he says. “AI is here to stay, and your willingness to engage with it now will define your professional journey in the years to come.”

Learn more about other Dickinson alumni working with AI.


Published June 20, 2024