Human Resources

CMO Files: Vittorio Viarengo, CMO, MobileIron

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:  Vittorio Viarengo       


Job title: VP of Products and CMO

Location: Mountain View, CA


(1) Where were you born and raised?

Genova, Italy   

(2) What was your first job?  

I learned most of what I know about team building and work ethic while working as a baker in my family’s bakery.

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

After my dad’s Focaccia, the first product that excited me was Turbo Pascal, a software development system from Borland. It changed my life during the early days of my career as a developer because it shortened compilation time from 20 minutes to 45 seconds. Amazing. 

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

By far Adam Bosworth. He taught me many important lessons about building awesome products, working with great developers, making tough trade-offs, and telling a good story.

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?

I have been lucky to work with a number of successful teams on impactful products over the years. If I could narrow it down to two, I would say the Virtualization Journey at VMware, which became and industry-wide framework to model customer journeys to the private cloud, and the Mobile First strategy roll-out at MobileIron, a term now commonly used across the industry.

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?

Economically, I shouldn’t have sold my options in March 2000.

(7) What is your greatest strength?


(8) What is your biggest weakness?

The overuse of one of my strengths: intuition. I find that following my intuition sometimes alienates the more analytical people around me.

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

Understanding technical products at a deep level and using simple words to describe them.

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

Mantra -> Care and Kick Butt

Squirm -> Hope

(11) What makes you stressed?

In the grand scheme of things, nothing stresses me much on the job. We are lucky people who are well paid to work on interesting problems. We should always remind ourselves of how privileged we are. 

(12) What do you do to relax?

Playing sports and music with my kids and friends. I believe that playing a competitive sport and music education are fundamental in learning two invaluable business and life skills: teamwork and deliberate practice to constantly improve ourselves.

(13) What is your favourite song?

Message in a Bottle by The Police

(14) Which book taught you most?

It is hard to pick just one. I will pick one from the last 6 month’s “So good they cannot ignore you”, which turned the concept of following your passion upside down for me, in a good way.

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

Not really anymore. I used to be a big fan of Sampdoria, a soccer team from the city where I was raised. Lately I have been trying to get into American sports and I have started to follow the 49ers.

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

I don’t see myself leaving Silicon Valley, but if I did, maybe Australia.                   

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

Nike. I also like what HSBC is doing with their airport advertising. Clever and thought provoking.

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

Story telling.

(19) What is your favourite book?

Philosophical Dictionary, Voltaire

(20) What keeps you awake at night?

Nothing really. 


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