New at the top: Bill Clark, Savi Technology president and chief executive
By — Interview with Vanessa Small,
Position: President and chief executive at Savi Technology, an information services company headquartered in Alexandria.
Career highlights: Executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Deltek; executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Mantas; vice president, worldwide sales, marketing and business development, Integral Development Corp.; senior vice president, worldwide marketing and business development, Hyperion Solutions; vice president, J.P. Morgan.
Education: BS, business and public administration, Drexel University.
Personal: Lives in Great Falls with wife Sigita. They have two children.
My journey started long ago, well before my business career formally began. In my early teenage years I played ice hockey, but at some point my mom decided to give me tennis lessons. A year later, I was playing national-level tennis tournaments.
I was able to do well enough to attend college on a full scholarship.
Being a tennis player at that level taught me, without realizing it, that while the court was the same every time you played on it, every time you played you had to figure out how to win.
That is the metaphor for the business world, where you’re in the marketplace competing with other people and your job as a leader is to figure out how to win with whatever resources you have.
I landed at IBM right out of college as a sales trainee. At the time, IBM was transitioning from a company selling mainframe computers to a software services company. So I was right in the middle of all that change going on.
That’s where I was first introduced to marketing as a formal discipline, and it was particularly interesting to me. After IBM, I ran marketing at a number of small and mid-sized public companies where the marketing strategy was the foundation for everything we did.
I eventually went to work at JP Morgan and then landed in Silicon Valley right in the super heyday of the dot-com revolution. I worked at a $500 million publicly traded company, Hyperion Solutions, which had moved its headquarters there.
I got the experience of working in the highly volatile, high-energy world of Silicon Valley for six years. The strategy aspect was critical.
In the late ’90s, a lot of commerce was moving to the Internet. At that time, you had major market disruptions.
Borders and Barnes and Noble were being impacted in the book-selling market by Amazon.com. Toys.com was taking business away from Toys R Us.
Our chief executive had an idea that if e-commerce was going to impact almost every type of commerce, then someday it was going to be a major participant in capital markets such as foreign exchange, stocks, bonds and derivatives.
He thought we should be the first company to enable the sale of foreign-exchange products over the Internet.
We created CFOWeb.com.
I brought the marketing strategy into the company to complement the idea of the chief executive. It was a phenomenal success in terms of impact on the market.
Savi Technology needed someone to lead their efforts to change their strategy, evolve their product and change the messaging.
The company has a great track record for success in wireless tracking and monitoring. What they have done has been fantastic. I want to help build on that initial idea.
— Interview with Vanessa Small