Human Resources

CMO Files: Michael Ricci, CMO, nGage Labs

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: Michael Ricci

Organisation: nGage Labs

Job title: CMO

Location: Evergreen, CO

Where were you born and raised?   
Seattle, WA – the rainy Pac NW

What was your first job?   

Construction labourer

What was the first product you got really excited about? 
 Apple II --- there you go … dated myself for certain!   

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?   

All the normal tech titan suspects – Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, etc. I’ve gleaned wisdom from each and it’s helped shape my understanding of this fast changing world that we live in.

What has been your greatest achievement?   

Either helping give birth to The Oscars first mobile programs or being recognized (along with others) for the work that we did for Obama 2008 which resulted in the campaign winning 2008 Mobile Marketer of the Year. I’m also very proud of the digital marketing programs that I architected for National Wildlife during the Gulf Oil Spill that raised well over $20m for that cause.

What has been your biggest mistake?
I dismissed an opportunity to become a seed investor in a mobile content company that quickly was sold for $40m. 

What is your greatest strength? 
I have a solid understanding of the digital ecosystem and a proven ability to orchestrate campaigns where all the pieces play together in close harmony.

What is your biggest weakness?  
Impatience … wish it weren’t so!

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

I think most people overlook the amount of analytic focus that is required for success in this role.   Everyone cherishes the creative aspect of the job but at end of day … it’s all about metrics and ultimately results.

Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?  
Persistence is my mantra … patience makes me squirm!

What makes you stressed?  
The responsibility of being a key digital architect for some of the biggest brands on the planet.

What do you do to relax?
I escape to the serenity of our beautiful Rocky MTNS and spend every idle moment skiing the backcountry, riding epic singletrack, hiking 14ers or paddling some of our world class whitewater.

What is your favourite song?   

No such thing as a favourite song … way too many of them to count. Adore great music like Dave Matthews, U2, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Lumineers, Black Keys, etc.

Which book taught you most?   

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Ries & Trout

Do you have a team or sport that you follow? 
Huge hockey fan and adore my Avalanche. But, as a Seattle native I am a passionate Seahawks, Mariners, Gonzaga Bulldog and UW Husky Fan.

Which country would you like to work in?

I live in the best country in the world in a place that most people would regard as utopia … what’s not to like about that?

Which company do you think has the best marketing?   

I’m a massive fan of Apple and Nike …

What do you love most about your job?
Constantly challenged to learn new things and technologies.

What is your favourite book?  

Recently read Steve Jobs and loved Issacson’s work on that.

What keeps you awake at night?  
My addiction to espresso!


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