Can you please tell us a little bit about your background?
MARCO: Most of my background has been working in IT and throughout many different parts of the world. I have over 20 years of international experience in enterprise sales, marketing, and product management. My recent role was with Zebra Technologies where I served as Vice President of Sales for EMEA. In this role, I led the theatre to a highly profitable $1.3 billion success story through a tough economic climate. Prior to Zebra I held a variety of senior positions at Motorola Enterprise, where I led the company’s enterprise business across all markets in EMEA, holding leadership positions in PSION and Symbol (prior to acquisition). I was also part of the leadership team responsible for the acquisition and sales integration of PSION into Motorola in 2012.
What is your top priority in your new role?
MARCO: My top priority is to keep Polycom on the growth trajectory and maintain the profitability of the business we have today. I will do this by identifying areas for growth and try to unearth new untapped opportunities so we can start to gain market share. Peter brought me in to lead a team that is performing extremely well in a relatively static market. My job is to come in as a fresh pair of eyes to search for new areas where we can grow.
What does the first 90 days for you look like?
1: Education. Not being a UC specialist, I want to gain a better understanding of our proposition.
2: I also want to meet the whole team, understand their roles and the structure of the organisation.
3: At the same time I will be meeting with partners, distributors and customers to gain an understanding of their view of the market and their view of Polycom.
I will try to figure out our strengths and look at areas we can draw on and where we can improve. Before the 90 days are up I will have a clear plan with ideas of how to grow and execute against.
Tell us a bit about your leadership style? What do you expect from your team?
MARCO: I am hands on – whether it is numbers, projects, issues – I look at myself as a “Mr. fix it” providing strategic direction and helping to drive the numbers, but also like to help people eliminate obstacles to achieve their goals. I like to solve problems, whether it is technical, GTM, marketing related and like to get into the detail. I have an open style, I am not hierarchal, and I want to motivate people from a personal perspective. I want them to have a leader they can trust and look to me for support. Their success is my success.
Your career in technology spans more than 20 years, how do you see video evolving?
MARCO: I like the fact that we at Polycom have a clear vision. The vision of a future work environment with people using video for meetings regardless of location – whether you are at a hotel, an airport, at home. It ignites my imagination as to how the future can and will look. If Polycom delivers the vision of collaborating across multiple platforms – through seamless communications and making video ubiquitous - to have everyone use it all the time, it makes complete sense to me and it’s a great place to be. I do believe that even though the market is more or less static in EMEA, you can attract different and new types of users. The biggest challenge is the conference phone market. The challenge there is what we are going to do with that market and how to refresh it.
Can you give us one example of how technology has changed your life?
MARCO: I am a prototype for the frequent traveler. I don’t work in an office. I haven’t worked in an office for a few years. In fact, I went to my last office five times in total… I work everywhere, including hotels and home. Technology has enabled me to work this way and has transformed the way I work. Coming to Polycom and using video day-to-day will only reinforce the way I like to work.
You’ve travelled a lot over the years with your various positions. What city has been your favorite so far?
MARCO: It is very hard to say. I have lived in many cities, including Rome, London, Paris, New York and Jakarta. Paris for me rates highly from a cultural perspective. London also has a lot to offer. Rome is a beautiful city with fantastic weather, food and culture. I would say it would be tough for me to decide between them all. Every time I visit a new city I think it might be a new favorite. If I was a millionaire I would have a lot of houses!
At Polycom, work-life balance is important. What do you do when you get some down time?
MARCO: I am firm believer in work-life balance. I enjoy being active, extreme sports and the great outdoors. One of my challenges for this year is to finish climbing the highest mountains in the world; so far I have climbed two of the eight. As part of my routine I enjoy going for a run before settling down to work. It clears my head and keeps my mind active. My weekends are also spent with my family, either in the garden or outdoors somewhere.
When you are a first-time mom, it seems like everyone has a pearl of wisdom to share with you. From teething remedies to proper car seat installation, my friends, coworkers and family members had advice on every topic imaginable. But when the time finally came to head back to work and leave my newborn, Jacob, no single tip or trick made me feel at ease. How would I balance my baby with my career? Well, with Mother’s Day approaching, and well into my first year in motherhood, it’s my turn to hand off some advice to all the moms out there.
Video is your friend.
Working in an environment that champions video, I’ve always had the flexibility to telecommute. But never have I appreciated it more than these past eight months. Here’s why:
It’s a time saver. Every moment is precious and I know that sometimes moms wish there were 28 hours in a day so we could get everything done. By using videoconferencing, there’s no commute, which means I am saving a lot of time. This extra hour I have in my day can be used however I want: cooking dinner with my husband (occasionally), meeting up with a girlfriend (rarely), or getting some extra snuggle time with Jacob (regularly).
My position requires a bit of travel and I was hesitant at first about leaving Jacob. However, thanks to video (specifically RealPresence Mobile) we have found ways to make it manageable. My husband Andrew and I chat about our day and I get in my “mom time” with Jacob, the best of both worlds – doing what I need to do for my job while spending quality time with the family. It definitely helps curb homesickness.
By using video to connect with coworkers, I was able to ease in and out of maternity leave seamlessly. The way that I interacted via video remained consistent from before and after I had Jacob. In fact, the transition was so seamless that some of my coworkers never even realized I was pregnant! They were accustomed to seeing my face day in and day out, but it was hard for them to believe their eyes when I finally stood up to show them my growing belly.
Polycom has tons of mothers (and grandmothers) in its workforce and I can guarantee that video conferencing has made a significant impact on their lives and balancing family and career. Do any other Moms out there have tips or advice they can share? Please share them with us by leaving a comment below. Happy Mother’s Day!