Director of Franchise Marketing, CardioVascular
Santa Rosa, California, USA
I was a brand manager in Europe for a big multinational consumer goods manufacturer, and while their mission was to improve the lives of the world's consumers, fabric softener and laundry detergent didn't improve people's lives as much as I wanted them to. So I went looking and narrowed it down to a large, brown fizzy drink manufacturer and Medtronic. It was tempting to work for the fizzy drink company that everyone knew, but when I really dug deep, Medtronic and its mission were more attractive. I joined on as marketing manager in the Coronary Vascular division.
It was a little scary to come to a medical company when I'd never even had a biology course. But there was training, and I waded through cardiovascular medicine books and spent as much time as I could in cath labs. After 3 years as manager at the European headquarters in Tolochenaz, Switzerland, I was offered a choice of leadership roles in Europe or at the division headquarters in California. For my own development, I wanted to have local, regional, and global experience, so the California choice was easy. I enjoy looking at our marketing across the entire business because it gives me a greater understanding of how our customers perceive us.
Cultural sharing has gone both ways. I'm learning about the complexity of our global business, while our division leaders are learning some regional insights from me. People tend to think of Medtronic as this huge, $13 billion company, but in many ways it's more like a start-up. It's very entrepreneurial with many opportunities. Anyone can come in at any level, see ideas for improvement, share them, and have an immediate impact.
Joined Medtronic: 2004
Grew up in: Fleet, England
University of Durham, bachelor's in History with Asian Studies specialization
University of Hong Kong, master's in Comparative Asian Studies
Family: Wife and three young boys ages 5, 3, and 1
Moving halfway round the world was easy for us. My wife and I had lived in several Asian countries before moving to Switzerland and then the U.S., so we were used to packing everything up every few years. Also, the kids weren't in school yet. We adjusted pretty quickly and enjoyed some of the small differences in life: the shops are open longer, parking spaces are wider, there are more choices in the supermarket. Plus, the Northern California weather is great; even in winter, we can just put a jumper on the kids and out we go.
What I do for fun:
We get out and enjoy the natural area as much as possible, walking and camping. I also play golf and cricket. I just found out there are some Medtronic folks who play cricket here in Santa Rosa, so I'm hoping to join them.
How our products hit close to home:
My uncle has a Medtronic pacemaker. He's constantly pinging me with e-mails to learn the latest advancements. He's doing our marketing for us – telling friends who need to get pacemakers all about Medtronic, and making sure they know his nephew works there.