The CMO Files: Dale Vecchio, LzLabs GmbH

What keeps CMOs awake at night?

[image_library_tag 0086c4b1-883e-47d0-9734-b0d84e1f3eff 134x159 alt="27-09-2017-dale-vecchio-lzlabs-gmbh" title="27-09-2017-dale-vecchio-lzlabs-gmbh - " width="134" height="159"class="left "]


Name:  Dale Vecchio

Organisation: LzLabs GmbH

Job title: Chief Marketing Officer

Location: Zurich, Switzerland


  1. Where were you born and raised?
    Born in upstate New York, alongside Lake Erie, near Buffalo, NY.
  2. What was your first job?  
    My first job was most certainly a paper route! I’ve pretty much worked at something since I was old enough to work legally. My first tech job was as an application developer and assembler on an IBM DOS/VS mainframe.
  3. What was the first product you got really excited about?  
    “Product” covers a lot of ground! I got pretty excited when I saw my first Ferrari. And I thought my first Motorola brick phone was pretty cool. Right now, 3D printing, and the options it provides in a wide variety of scenarios is simply amazing.
  4. Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
    I worked for a SVP of Marketing who taught me the value of “getting the job done” no matter the effort. Think big, Act big. To quote the movie about Ray Charles “You think nickels, you get nickels. Think dollars!”
  5. What has been your greatest achievement?
    Honestly, my daughter! She is a graduate student at Yale and has a work ethic like no other. Little did I realize when she was young and I told her “Quitting is a bad habit to learn”, that she was listening!! As far as work, my 18 years at Gartner established my reputation as the leading modernisation analyst in the marketplace and perfectly positioned me for my current job.
  6. What has been your biggest mistake?
    Missing the move to distributed computing back in the 1990s! I wish I had embraced the power of this, then nascent technology much earlier than I did.
  7. What is your greatest strength?
    My greatest strength has been to take highly technical subjects and represent them in a meaningful way to non-technical people. I’ve always used the expression “I need to know more, to say less!”. I have been in IT for over 40 years and a Gartner analyst for 18 years. To steal a line from a US insurance company commercial, “I know a thing or two, because I’ve seen a thing or two!”   
  8. What is your biggest weakness?
    Impatience! Inefficiency, waste and delays drive me crazy.
  9. What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers? 
    Public speaking! Being able to engage an audience, keep their attention and tell a compelling story is the art of this job. There are many technical aspects are important, but if you can’t tell a compelling story and keep people’s attention you are at a disadvantage.
  10. Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
    My current operating mantra is “go big or stay home”.  I’ve never understood the phrase “If I had to do it all over again I’d do it the same.” Didn’t you learn ANYTHING along the way??
  11. What makes you stressed?
    Being late! I consider myself punctual. I do it out of respect for the person I’m meeting. To be late, and not really care, is a sign of disrespect. I hate being late!
  12. What do you do to relax?
    Lots of things. I love to golf. I also read a lot, listen to music and even cook!
  13. What is your favourite song?
    My favorite music is The Blues! But I also love the Beatles! To boil it down to one song is hard. Since I have been speaking to so many customers about whether they should migrate off the mainframe, I’d have to say my favorite song is by The Clash – “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
  14. Which book taught you most?
    Dress for Success. Its basic message is dress and act for the job you want, NOT the job you have! If we ignore the shallowness of what clothes you wear, the message is think and act “up”, not down!
  15. Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
    While I am not from St. Louis, I have lived in the area long enough to become a St. Louis Cardinal fan. So I follow baseball, but I also follow golf and Formula 1 racing.
  16. Which country would you like to work in?
    I’d like to work in Australia. I’d like to live in Italy!
  17. Which company do you think has the best marketing?
    There are a LOT of companies that do a good job here, but you can’t argue with Apple creating not just a brand, but an entire experience! It starts when you open the box, and continues on in the simplicity and beauty of the interactions that are possible. Few have set expectations like Apple about what it means to deal with a particular company. Certainly in the past IBM had a very powerful brand that many trusted. You could always trust IBM.
  18. What do you love most about your job?
    I really enjoy establishing a compelling message in the marketplace about a particular solution. Taking that solution from nothing to well understood around the world. I love the international aspects of this job. I love working with smart and dedicated people that have done something no one else has done. My job is to give that “something” a brand, with qualities and characteristics that people automatically recognise.
  19. What is your favourite book?
    Not sure I can point to one single book, but for entertainment my favorite fictional character is Jack Reacher. From a business perspective, it’s a book that Bill Gates recommended: 'Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street' by John Brooks.
  20. What keeps you awake at night?
    LzLabs is trying to accomplish what no company has done in the past. Dramatically reduce an organisation’s legacy costs in order to enable truly transformative change. And we are trying to do this around the world. We are doing this in the face of Baby Boomer retirements that are increasing. Trying to stay ahead of the curve and establish a recognised brand keeps me awake at night!