CMO Files: Atchison Frazer, Xangati

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'...


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Name: Atchison Frazer

Organisation: Xangati

Job title: VP-Marketing

Location: San Jose, California



(1) Where were you born and raised?

Western Kentucky (halfway between St. Louis and Louisville)

(2) What was your first job? 

Soda Fountain Clerk in my father’s retail pharmacy

(3) What was the first product you got really excited about?

IBM LaserPrinter (my first product line)

(4) Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

 The IBMer

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?

Private shareholder in the 2009 Fortinet IPO

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?

 Founding a streaming media start-up at the start of the 2000 telecom downturn and five years before YouTube

 (7) What is your greatest strength?

Category creation for disruptive technologies (e.g., UTM - unified threat management ala Fortinet)

 (8) What is your biggest weakness?

Irrational exuberance and miscalculated risk

(9) What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?

 How to weave a compelling, differentiated story that translates very technical information into customer value resonance   

(10) Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?

Mantra: staple yourself to the customer order; squirm: not invented here (NIH)

(11) What makes you stressed?

Not knowing enough about my customers, their industries, their markets

(12) What do you do to relax?

Golf, tennis, parenting

(13) What is your favourite song?

 “In the Air Tonight,” Phil Collins

(14) Which book taught you most?

 “Competitive Strategy,” Michael Porter

(15) Do you have a team or sport that you follow?

Golden St. Warriors basketball (current); St. Louis Cardinals baseball (all-time)

(16) Which country would you like to work in?


(17) Which company do you think has the best marketing?


(18) What do you love most about your job?

Immediate impact and market leverage potential

(19) What is your favourite book?

 Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

(20) What keeps you awake at night?

 My own paranoia about survival