13 June 2022
Who was your hero when you were growing up?
As a youngster, my big hero was Zorro. The character from the old black and white TV series, not the blockbuster movie version. Zorro was a noble bandit, and he always fought for the right cause. He represented the honourable good against the bad – and he had a great sense of humour. I also admired that he was not only a master swordsman but a skilled marksman and horseman.
What was your big career break?
I am originally from Burgundy in France, but I spent 12 years in the early part of my career in the Southeast of the UK, working in a range of marketing roles. My big career break came during my time at Aventail when SonicWall acquired it. I had the opportunity to take on a much more high-profile marketing role, covering international markets and being responsible for the EMEA marketing team. This also brought me into the MSP/SMB market, having previously been involved mainly with the mid to enterprise market. Later, when Dell acquired SonicWall, I was given the role of Product Marketing Director, promoting Dell Security Solutions in EMEA APAC and LATAM. By the time Dell sold SonicWall, I was EMEA Marketing Director, which led to my position at StorageCraft. I was recently appointed EVP of global marketing for Arcserve. These opportunities have allowed me to excel at the job elements that really appealed to me – working with people across diverse cultures in global markets and creating strategic marketing programs to create winnable pipeline. I have always been a strategic, customer-focused, and energetic marketing professional, and this has stood me in good stead throughout my career. I have a strong direct sales and channel background in IT security and hi-tech, and I always focus on developing sales pipelines that support and exceed business goals. I also really enjoy presenting to large audiences across the globe with relevant, business-focused messages.
If you had to work in another industry, which one would you choose?
I have always looked at the high-energy world of international finance and fintech with some longing. I love its pace and the need to make quick, critical decisions that have a massive impact on the business. You need to think on your feet and change direction in a flash. It’s a combination of using knowledge and experience with calculated risk and intuition. It’s a world where the rewards can be great if you work hard and smart and make the right decisions. That said, there is an even more daring side of me that has also quite fancied being a secret agent – but the less said about that, the better.
What would you do with £1m?
If I had that sort of money to hand, I would like to invest in a small business. More specifically, an entrepreneur who wants to do something great by starting their own business. I have genuine respect for people who go out there and set up their own business because, if successful, they will be recruiting and helping many other people to thrive and prosper. Of course, we know that it is hard in the early days, and I would like to offer some financial help and my time, advice, and guidance to help people get their businesses off the ground and be successful. In the business I am now in, we work with MSPs, many of which were started by one or two people. Often at significant personal risk, they have used their skills and contacts to build their businesses, and many are now vital parts of our industry.
If money was no object, where would you live?
To be honest, I can’t think of anywhere I would rather live than where I am now. I live near Annecy, a French city in the northern part of the French Alps very close to Geneva. It is a beautiful place, which is very remote and scenic but is also linked, via Geneva airport, to all major cities around the world. I love outdoor sports like backcountry and downhill skiing, mountain biking, and extreme hiking, and you really couldn’t ask for a better location than right here for all of these things. The climate is lovely, and we also have those beautiful lakes nearby. Also, family is incredibly important to me, and where I live now is only 2hours away from extended family members.
The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
This is hard because I love them both. I know there is a feeling that Beatles are more strait-laced, and the Stones are more rebellious, but the Beatles evolved and developed a much more interesting side as they grew older, and I quite liked that. I will say Beatles!
Which law would you most like to change?
Ransomware is a massive blight on the world, and I would love to bring in laws that make it illegal to pay the hackers. If they knew they would not gain any reward, they would not have any value in attacking people. I appreciate that making paying ransoms illegal could punish the wrong people – but we need to do something significant to help protect all of us from these criminals.
If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would you choose?
I like an outspoken and controversial dinner party, so I would love to have two people. John Lennon and Eric Cantona. Both have tremendous charisma and are opinionated. I also love that Eric is very involved in several good causes, including Emmaus homelessness charity. In 2012 he even attempted to generate enough support to become a French presidential candidate! Now that would be an interesting evening.