A passion for cloud computing

Sunday, November 28, 2010; 5:23 PM

Bill Wagner

Position: Chief operating officer of Vocus, a Lanham-based company that provides cloud-based marketing software that helps organizations generate awareness and influence buyers on the Web.

Career highlights: Chief marketing officer, Vocus; chief marketing officer, Fiberlink; marketing director, AT&T; sales manager, AT&T; account executive, AT&T.

Age: 43

Education: BA, History, Lafayette College; MBA, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Personal: Lives in Gambrills with wife Melissa and children Alex and Hanna.

I was your typical high school jock. I did well enough to get into a good school and play football. Eventually I became less interested in sports and a much more well-rounded, serious person.

I was an engineering major because people told me I was good in math and science, but I didn't like it.

I remember an older alumnus told me to do what I love as best as I could and the company I eventually work for will train me. It was a transformative conversation. Within a week, I switched my major to history, a passion of mine.

I had no idea what I wanted to do professionally as a history major, but a professor told me to just work for the best company I could in whatever field, work for a couple years and go back to graduate school.

I immediately went to work for AT&T selling computers. It was the best experience of my life. It taught me that sales is the hardest job in the world, but the most important thing you can do for your company.

I became a sales manager and sold one of the largest deals in the company at that time.

Then I wanted to see what marketing was like. It served me well to work across departments at AT&T, from business-to-business marketing to working for the chairman's office on brand strategy.

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