The CMO Files: Elissa Fink, Chief Marketing Officer, Tableau Software

Get inside the mind of the world's top marketing professionals. In 20 questions we find out what they love most about their job, what their biggest achievements are... and what keeps them awake at night. Read 'The CMO Files'...


Name:  Elissa Fink

Organisation: Tableau Software

Job title: Chief Marketing Officer

Location:Seattle WA


(1) Where were you born and raised?
Los Angeles, CA

(2) What was your first job?
Outside of babysitting, pie-maker then waitress. 

(3) What was the first product you got really excited about?
Claritas' PRIZM was amazing but Tableau rocked my world when I was a customer. 

(4) Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My mother. She always encouraged me to try for new adventures and new things. 

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?
Leading marketing for Tableau and going from a 35 person company to a NYSE publicly traded company in 6 years has been an incredible journey that I'm very proud of. 

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?
Oh my - so many to choose from. I notice they were almost always rooted in fear or pessimism. 

(7) What is your greatest strength?
The ability to see possibilities - and to get others to see them too. 

(8) What is your biggest weakness?
Always want to do too much in too little time. 

(9) What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?
Getting your hands a little dirty so you know instinctively what you're talking about. 

(10) Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
Mantra: "What would you be doing if every job paid exactly the same?" Doing great work you love brings happiness and a sense of accomplishments.Squirm: "You're over-budget."

(11) What makes you stressed?

Not meeting my goals. 

(12) What do you do to relax?
Be with my family, laugh with my friends. Best: laugh with my family and friends. 

(13) What is your favourite song?
Anything by Tom Petty. 

(14) Which book taught you most?
Geez - can't answer that, that's way too hard. I love books I can learn from: fiction, biography, business. 

(15) Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
My daughter's efforts in Tae Kwon Do. 

(16) Which country would you like to work in?
Where I am.

(17) Which company do you think has the best marketing?
There are so many I admire for different reasons: Apple, Nordstrom, Splunk - there are a million examples. I especially love marketing that takes risks. 

(18) What do you love most about your job?
The opportunity to do my best to advance a great team and a great product for great customers. 

(19) What is your favourite book?

The Road Less Travelled - gives me perspective at trying times. 

(20) What keeps you awake at night?