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Human Resources

CMO Files: Thomas Been, CMO, Tibco

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:  Thomas Been     

Organisation: TIBCO Software

Job title: CMO   

Location: Palo Alto, California

(1) Where were you born and raised?  

I was born in Le Chesnay, France near Versailles, but I grew up in Monaco.

(2) What was your first job?

I was an IT Consultant for a small French SI.

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

The Walkman was pretty cool… I don’t think I would love music as much as I do if it hadn’t existed. I still fall asleep with my headphones when I travel.

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

My peers at TIBCO. It is a privilege to be a part of this team and I keep learning so much, every day. From the moment I started my career at TIBCO, I learned what a customer is, what value we can bring them, and how important it is to collaborate as partners. Our founder has always said one of the keys to success was to hire people smarter than yourself and I know this is true. TIBCO has hired very clever people and this also shows in all the companies we have acquired.

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?

That’s easy: my two children, Maya and Théo.

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?

Whenever I have reacted immediately on an emotion without taking a step back to cool off and find greater understanding, I have made my greatest mistakes.  

(7) What is your greatest strength?

My team… I couldn’t do my job without them. The first day I arrived at TIBCO, I was told to go around, meet people, and discover the resources available to me. I know I’ve done well because I’ve leaned on TIBCO as one big team. Being shameless about using these resources has been my greatest strength.

(8) What is your biggest weakness?

I like food too much!

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

Creativity.

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

I like the word “entropy.” The word that makes me squirm is “lackluster.”

(11) What makes you stressed?

Time… or lack thereof.

(12) What do you do to relax?

I love to drive, listen to music, and run.

(13) What is your favourite song?

That’s impossible to answer… I love music too much. My favourite song depends on my mood at that moment.

(14) Which book taught you most?

Le Petit Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupéry. It was the first book I ever reread and have done so many times since.

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

Any sport on four wheels… I grew up in Monaco where the Grand Prix is held, so I have developed a long-time love. And, of course, the talented ladies of Team TIBCO.

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

I am already here. Lucky me.

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

Tesla. They took a net-new approach to shops, cars… everything. While many have failed, Tesla became a brand instantly. They’ve only been around for less than five years, but everyone knows them and there are Teslas everywhere.

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

People I work with… how combining the right people takes you to unexpected places.

(19) What is your favourite book?

Still Le Petit Prince. I recommend everyone read this book at least once in their life.

(20) What keeps you awake at night?

Netflix.

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