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Human Resources

CMO Files: Robert Tas, CMO, Pegasystems

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:  Robert Tas

Organisation Pegasystems

Job title: Chief Marketing Officer

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

 

(1) Where were you born and raised?

Toronto, Canada    

(2) What was your first job?  

My first job was working at local Dairy Queen. It was great experience to work for Lino Disanto - a smart, ethical, and hardworking business owner. He taught me lots of valuable life and business lessons, including how to treat every customer as your first customer, as well as the importance of being accountable and responsible.

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

A RadioShack TRS-80 computer. Oh the possibilities! I’m a geek at heart.

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

I’ve had many great bosses that have impacted me in a number of ways in terms of knowing what to do and what not to. However, one executive that I was fortunate to work with was a guy called Dave Peterschmidt. He taught me many things that I still use today both personally and professionally. His leadership and management were an inspiration and motivation. I’d climb a mountain for him. 

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?

Next to my family, I’d have to say my desire to continue to learn and develop. I think people lose that at some point in their careers. I haven’t.

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?

I don’t believe in mistakes – only learning opportunities. I’ve turned down some jobs that in hindsight would have been interesting but I can honestly say that I have no regrets. I’m on a pretty good path.

(7) What is your greatest strength?

Passion for what I do. I wake up every day loving the opportunity and the people I work with

(8) What is your biggest weakness?

Patience.

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

Patience, again! We live in a world where people want results faster with each passing day. To some extent, it reflects the world we live in, but it’s also important to remember that quality takes time to execute and that it’s almost always worth the wait.

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

Concentration of force and mass. A saying that I learned many years ago about quality vs quantity and focus.

(11) What makes you stressed?

Mediocrity. I hate doing average work when I know it can be better.

(12) What do you do to relax?

Play sports, listen to music, and drink good wine.

(13) What is your favourite song?

Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough

(14) Which book taught you most?

‘What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School’ by Mark McCormack. A must read even today.

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

Sadly, the NY Knicks!

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

China

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

American Express do a great job of their marketing, because they are just so true to their brand to end to end. I know many people say Apple but I think they are changing who they are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of their products but AMEX has managed to build more than a product – they’ve actually managed to build a feeling, which is pretty amazing.

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

I get to work with all facets of our organisation in many countries around the world.

(19) What is your favourite book?

‘What would Google Do?’ by Jeff Jarvis

(20) What keeps you awake at night?

Not much, I sleep pretty well as a rule – I can even sleep standing up and on planes! But my five year old usually gets me up early. 

 

 

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