It’s rare that really big spots, really awesome open up without someone vacating them :-) But – sometimes it happens! There is a lot of ongoing evolution within EMC, only a fraction of which is visible externally. Have you ever heard of the “duck’s feet furiously paddling underwater” – that’s us.
We here at EMC are very fortunate to be in perhaps one of the best strategic spots in the industry:
- Our strategy, priorities, and IP portfolio map almost 1:1 with customer priorities and industry change.
- We generate $5.5B of FCF (free cash flow), and are gaining marketshare (and have room to grow – it’s actually harder if you’re already at 80-90% market share) in the markets in which we compete. This translates into “we can invest to win”, particularly if we’re smart about balancing investments (tightening in places, investing in others).
- We have a willingness, and vehicles to self-disrupt on many fronts. This is true within EMC ourselves, and only becomes MORE true as you think of EMC as part of a Federation of companies (VMware, Pivotal, RSA, VCE) that operate with autonomy, ability to disrupt each other, but also share a common strategic worldview.
- We have an IP portfolio and assets (a great team of people and partners) to win.
And – of course, we’re challenged and evolving furiously on all fronts. Evolve, adapt, or die – it’s the circle of life that generates so much awesome diversity and innovation.
As this change touches all the parts of the company, our Sales brothers/sisters have put someone in place to really ensure they drive to transform on their side (Steve Crowe – a good friend, and partner).
In the SE org, we are doing this likely one or two steps ahead of sales, but the right amount is “barely only ahead” (as we need to be very closely partnered) – and this requires a VP-level SE leader that is paired with the Americas-level Sales leader – which is a new role in the EMC SE team.
As you can imagine, we have a VERY strong internal candidate slate (naturally the great leaders we have at the segment and divisional parts of the team, and many others), and it’s going to be very competitive. This must be one of the biggest seats available for a “leader of passionate technologists” at a high-tech company – they will lead about 1800 fantastic, incredible people, on an incredible journey.
I’m passionate that wherever I can (sometimes one can’t) – we should openly post, build candidate slates that are as strong as possible, with diverse backgrounds, and then quickly select… so here you have it… ARE YOU INTERESTED?
What am I/are we looking for?
The candidate must have demonstrated real leadership skill. This must include experience at some material scale, in support of a material business. I’m intentionally not hyper-specific about what does “material" mean exactly, because IMO, it isn’t about “size” or “number of employees” - but rather they need to illustrate understanding navigating complex organizational structures and complex dynamics, turbulent periods of great change, surrounded by power players all driven in of themselves.
Some words that came to mind (and a picture a great friend created):
The person we will pick will face two SIMULTANEOUS and CONTRADICTORY challenges:
CHALLENGE 1: Help the whole team hit our shared near term quarterly goals – what our customers and shareholder count on from EMC. This involves an eye to execution, being strong enough to be a full partner with similarly strong willed and strong minded sales leaders and services leaders. This is about making the existing machine work, supporting the team, and making everything marginally better with every turn of the crank. This part will bias towards incrementalism – not upsetting the apple cart, but pushing it faster. This will be naturally easier for someone WITH a strong internal history, experience and brand.
CHALLENGE 2: Help drive our transformation with an eye to a 3-5 year window. This involves being an agent of change – what our customers and shareholders ALSO count on from EMC. This involves being able to bring in, lead, and build a new talent profile. If you think of the profile of an EMC Account SE in 2017-2018, they are far less likely to come from an “infrastructure” background (ran/operated infrastructure, particularly storage infrastructure) than today. When I hear “we need to hire this person, they are awesome at _____ traditional EMC competitor”, my response is: “I always want to look at our talent pool – but know we have some of the strongest people for that type, and they are also evolving to something new!”. The EMC “Account SE of tomorrow” will increasingly need:
- Business experience and, application experience - and yes, of course always infrastructure, but more from a “how do I automate complexity OUT of what will always be a complex infrastructure stack?" rather than “I’ve managed a storage environment”.
- To be more of an “architect” not a “contractor” (that role is a specialist in our SE team).
- To have a diverse background and worldview. I would bet they are more likely to have spent time in a startup.
- To naturally understand the value of new development frameworks and tools – not because they are a CODER, but because they have written code.
The leader will pick will need to be able to be a “different” face, a different “brand” in a sense for EMC, as well as (see challenge #1) as a familiar one. They will need a different network of contacts. They will need to be able to identify, nurture and develop the existing workforce that can be transformed and give them a helping hand. AT THE SAME TIME, they will need to be able to bring in “newcomers” whenever a spot opens – perhaps 10–20% of the time - and thus over years changing every part of the ~1200 person workforce that we are talking about. This will be naturally easier for someone WITH a strong external history and brand.
I’m really looking forward to meeting people interested in this role as part of a great team – at a minimum, making new friends and new connections!
If you are interested in applying for this position, here is the first skill testing phase:
- Please contact to Krista Sequeira. EMC email addresses follow a standard format, so you can figure it out (or email me!)
- The req number is #120482BR
- Don’t wait long! We’re moving fast. We want to have the slate finalized in DAYS and selecting in WEEKS.
This will be the challenge and adventure of a lifetime for the right person!