About a month ago, I attended a management training course. It is one of many enriching classes offered by Microsoft to help develop and grow our people. During that three day course, I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Wells, the Director of Global Trade Marketing for Microsoft Mobile Advertising. As director of trade marketing, Jamie is responsible for defining Microsoft’s mobile advertising positioning, which includes developing innovative marketing and advertising programs and initiatives, leading Microsoft’s mobile advertising thought leadership efforts and crafting highly effective, cutting-edge mobile solutions for advertisers and publishers. Before joining Microsoft, Jamie led the mobile advertising and marketing practice at OMD Worldwide, the largest global media agency and a leader in digital marketing innovation. Jamie joined Microsoft about a year ago so I asked him to share some of his thoughts about the culture and what it is like to work here.
Jamie Wells, Director of Global Trade Marketing
Coming from the media space, his perception of Microsoft before interviewing and working here was “that of the corporate image – large successful company, somewhat formal, not as hip and cool” as the agency space he was coming from or in comparison to other companies in the space. After joining Microsoft his perception changed considerably, Jamie has found that Microsoft can be formal when it has to be, but has a casual relaxed work environment – sandals and shorts in the summer. “There is an emphasis on what matters, not just the formal process of the business world.” Jamie was “overwhelmed by the depth of the caliber people, their expertise, not just in their subject areas, but in their ability to corral projects to completion.” The consistency of highly focused individuals driven for results was something he had never experienced before. These observations have been reinforced in the last year that he has been here. “Everyone you meet is highly competent, skilled and focused on performance, but at same time, not overly formal.” He also described a balance to the Microsoft culture: there is a “fair degree of work hard, play hard” blended with the level of commitment that he hasn’t seen anywhere. “People are committed to the end goal and rallying behind that willingly. It’s rare to see that level of focus and discipline and still enjoying themselves.” There’s a lot of innovation and people who love technology at Microsoft. Jamie sees it every day.
I asked Jamie what it is like working for Bing. He said it is “fantastic working on brand that has a positive halo in the market.” The branding campaign has been widely successful, the product has been well received by the public and the industry. “It is great to feel that level of pride on the product and see reactions from industry, peers, family and friends.” In previous roles Jamie was focused on keeping up with the market and providing a consultative service. The difference is that now he is not observing the trends, he is making the market that others will observe. When asked if anything surprised him about working at Bing, he said the idea of scale was a surprise. “The way MS scales everything from small business to seeing it through to scale. To design a clear plan and process to take a $10 million business to a $10 billion business is not just surprising, but impressive.”
For those considering a career with Microsoft, I asked Jamie about the recruiting process he went through and he described it as “unique.” He had never been exposed to a formalized interview loop process before. He felt it was a great approach and provided immersion. “In a short time we went deep on the company, people and processes.” And it gave the team a chance to go deep on learning about him. Why does Jamie think people should consider a role with Bing? He tells people, “Ford builds cars, one of their biggest assets is the factories that build the cars… as well as the cars themselves. We build software, our assets are the people, because of that people are more important here than other companies. No other physical assets come close to our people. There is an emphasis on keeping them happy.” Jamie feels our people have a good quality of life. He knows Microsoft “truly values it’s people over all other things.”
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