Business Management

Typical 24: Heath Davies, CEO, Clearswift

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…


  Name:  Heath Davies

  Job title: CEO

  Company: Clearswift

  Location: UK, Theale

  Years’ experience: 27

What time do you reach the office each day?

Normally around 8ish.  However, work often starts when I hit the road at 6.45am with calls from the UK into the Australian and Japanese offices.

Is your job varied?

I can make the job as varied (or focused) as required. Choosing the right things to do at any particular point in time is one of the key skills of a CEO.

Is your job creative?

I approach the role from a sales and marketing perspective, so my creative juices are typically activated when looking at new markets or territories or needing to find ways of helping clients achieve their objectives within certain budget constraints.

What do you spend the majority of your time doing?

Every day is different. Mondays are almost exclusively focused on clients and prospect activity. Throughout the remainder of the week, I will have a number of staff meetings with the functional heads of Marketing or Product development. Other days I’ll be working with the finance team to prepare investor packs for our organic business growth or building a business case to drive M&A.

Do you personalise your desk?

My desk is adorned with personal items from different places around the world. I was given a 3 inch jade laughing Buddha from a partner in Beijing, a black and white family photo taken at a beach bar near St Tropez in France, a  marble turtle that my son bought for me in Barbados,  and an array of management books, you get the image. All mean something to me.

Would you describe yourself as creative?

When I’m involved with sales and marketing, 100% yes. If the question was more about artistic creativity, then I’m afraid I haven’t got much further than stick men.

Do you have any quirky daily rituals?

I’m a little bit precious about my coffee in the morning i.e. if my preferred brand isn’t available, everyone gets to know about it!

Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?

My preference is to work with colleagues. However, sometimes it’s important to have some personal time to get on with thinking about the business or report writing.

How many hours on average do you work a day?

10 hours per day would not be uncommon. Some days require more, some less. I try and keep the weekends free for the family.

Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?

Around 60-70%

Do you use social media much for work?

I use LinkedIn every day.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Working with an exceptionally talented team. Everyone has their own individual personality, but we all work well together and appreciate each other’s points of view.

What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?

None during office hours. However, I admit to be a keen iTunes downloader with some 5500 mainly dance music tracks; a throw back to my DJ heritage.

What do you do for lunch?

I try and get out of the office for at least 30 minutes to get some air and have a sandwich.

Do you socialise with work colleagues?

Yes, either at our company family days or following on from meetings/events.

Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?

Not really. There are always activities that I’d prefer to do (like sales and marketing), and those I’d prefer to delegate (like writing reports) but I take all the tasks (good and bad) within the context of my role.

What is your last task of your day?

To check my diary for the following day.

How do you like to relax after work?

When in the UK I like to be at home with my wife and relax with a nice meal and wine. When I’m travelling I’ll tend to be with colleagues having a beer somewhere close to one of our offices.

Do you keep checking email through the evening?

Yes, it comes with the responsibility of my job.

Do you take work projects home with you?

Yes. Because I believe in an office-based culture, it means some days are completely lost due to ad-hoc conversations that happen throughout the day.

What would you say to your 20-year old self?

I graduated and trained as a Civil Engineer.  I never really enjoyed this career and spent until 27 years old questioning my chosen path. Then I had a lucky break. I was given the opportunity to move into a technology company, and never looked back. So, note to self, “don’t spend the next 7 years working on muddy sites building roads, go and find a tech job pronto”.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?

I’d like to be the Captain of the Starship Enterprise.  Being James T Kirk for a day would be a complete blast. Hailing frequencies open to J. J. Abrams…

What device did you use to answer these questions?

HP Folio laptop.

Do you use your own personal device for work?



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