Social Media Marketing

The CMO Files: Sharon Trachtman, Radware

Sharon Trachtman

 Organisation: Radware

 Job title: CMO

 Location: Tel Aviv, Israel




1.    Where were you born and raised?
Tel Aviv Israel


2.    What was your first job?  
I was an application engineer, a type of product manager, at Scitex. It was one of the top Israeli high tech companies before 2000 and a global market leader in the pre-press industry.

3.    What was the first product you got really excited about?   
When we launched DefensePro at Radware in 2003. It was our first cyber security product. It was a very innovative technology and had a unique approach to cyber attack mitigation. It was a defining moment in the company history as it set us on a path to becoming a global leader.

4.    Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My current manager, and Radware CEO, Roy Zisapel. We’ve been working together at Radware for many years, and I’ve learned a lot through this joint journey. We’ve grown the company together from being a small start-up of just a handful of people to take the company through an IPO.  It’s now a $200M public company (Nasdaq RDWR) with 1000 employees.

5.    What has been your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement was an acquisition that we made in 2009 in the midst of the economic crisis.
We acquired the Alteon application delivery business line from Nortel, and integrated it into Radware. We launched an award winning marketing campaign targeted at the wide customer base it had, and as a result made a return on the acquisition investment in less than 2 years.

6.    What has been your biggest mistake?
My biggest mistake was to be somewhat conservative in our marketing investment prior to and around the IPO. At that time, I didn’t realise it was a unique opportunity to capture mind share and market share through more aggressive investment.

7.    What is your greatest strength?
I learnt from that experience and now my strength is being able to make tough priority judgements and focus resources effectively around them.

8.    What is your biggest weakness?
Not being fast enough in processing information – which is needed as information pace is constantly growing. I like to digest things, but I also value my team’s opinion so together we are able to make the decisions that matter when they matter.

9.    What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?   
Enabling employees to drive initiatives and take ownership. You have to acknowledge that in our age - no one can have ultimate and full wisdom.

10.  Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
I believe ‘one should never feel comfortable in their position’, when you get too comfortable you are not alert enough to changes and new challenges. My pet squirm? When companies refer to themselves as a family.

11.  What makes you stressed?
When I know the resources I have are not enough to bring in the results I am expecting and when I need to make a choice between things that are all a must.

12.  What do you do to relax?
I spend time with my family, swim and cook.

13.  What is your favourite song?
The Ballade of Lucy Jordan by Marianne Faithful

14.  Which book taught you most?
Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. Grove

15.  Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
Football (Soccer) with my son, we are FCB (Barcelona) fans.

16.  Which country would you like to work in?
I enjoy working in Israel.

17.  Which company do you think has the best marketing?

18.  What do you love most about your job?
Having close working relationships inside and outside of my team and the need to be creative as well as analytical in modern marketing leadership.

19.  What is your favourite book?
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker 

20.   What keeps you awake at night?
The violence that is still inflicted against innocent women and children around the world.


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