Name: Marco Comastri
Company: CA Technologies
Job Title: President. EMEA
Location: Morges, Switzerland
What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?
I would like to mention my father in my early days of work was always pushing me to go for the most difficult career paths (leave the “comfort zone”). He not only pushed me to be the best I could be but was a man of high integrity and ethics. He was a great role model and everyone needs a role model.
What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?
There is literally no bad advice you can receive in my philosophy… all of them received are gifts. The key is being able to identify what it means to you.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?
Be passionate about this fantastic and magic industry which has been growing for decades and is changing our lives for the better. There really is no other industry which is so fast paced and exciting, it is also a sector where you can be part of initiatives or programs that will truly shape the future of the world whether helping an organization process data faster to find cures for diseases or helping deliver software to help build driverless cars, as examples. In Europe, we have a “digital debt” – that is we need more digitally skilled workers, than we currently have. To address this chronic Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills gap in EMEA, I would encourage anyone wondering about their career to seriously think about acquiring some foundational STEM skills so they have options. Many of tomorrow’s jobs do not exist today but one thing that is for sure, we live in an application economy and that is not going away, so we will need more STEM skills than ever in Europe to ensure we remain competitive and continue to grow our economies.
What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?
Strive for excellence in all you do, build a strong network along the way and treat everyone from the janitor to the chairman with respect and good manners.
Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?
I am proud of all the individuals who I have had the opportunity to mentor or influence directly or indirectly. It is very rewarding and I am proud of all their career achievements. For me, one of the most fulfilling initiatives is working with young people through CA’s “Create Tomorrow” program, designed to encourage and inspire more young men and in particularly young women to consider careers in STEM.