The CMO Files: Carl Tsukahara, Birst
Human Resources

The CMO Files: Carl Tsukahara, Birst

Carl Tsukahara

Organisation: Birst

Job title: Chief Marketing Officer

Location:  San Francisco, USA


  1. Where were you born and raised?
    San Francisco  
  2. What was your first (real) job?
    Assembly language and C++ programmer
  3. What was the first product you got really excited about?
    GPS Technology I was working on at that time  
  4. Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
    Many people: Peter Micchiche (Ingres/ASK), Zach Nelson (Oracle), Anne Bamesberger (HP)
  5. What has been your greatest achievement(s)?
    Being the lead marketing person for Oracle’s database at a time of > 50% annual license growth; Being the #10 employee and executive in a company, Vitria, that eventually had a multi-billion dollar IPO and defined a new software category
  6. What has been your biggest mistake?
    Not going to a company that was positioned to change the online auctioning world and not doing a better job at keeping in touch with some folks from my past
  7. What is your greatest strength?
    People and building a great team and culture.  Also, having a broad view of what makes a great business - spanning marketing, sales, product and finance
  8. What is your biggest weakness?
    Getting frustrated easily with lack of action
  9. What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?
    Ability to help optimise other functions outside of the roles that I manage directly  
  10. Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
    Mantra: Be an Adult; Squirm: Ignoring data
  11. What makes you stressed?
    Not making progress fast enough
  12. What do you do to relax?
    Family, sports, food/wine, friends, music
  13. What is your favourite song?
    Don’t really have one
  14. Which book taught you most?
    Positioning, The Battle For Your Mind
  15. Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
    Most SF Bay Area sports teams, but #1 team is the GS Warriors and has been for decades
  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?
    People and helping customers succeed
  19. What is your favourite book?
    (No answer)
  20. What keeps you awake at night?
    (No answer)


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