Talent Time: Stephen H., Adobe Account Executive

Each month moving forward we will present “Talent Time” to you. Talent Time is a new feature on our blog introducing you to our team members across Asia. Today, the spotlight’s on Stephen H., our Account Executive from Melbourne, Australia.

Q: What do you do at Adobe?
A: The official answer is that I head up the Media and Entertainment vertical for the Adobe Marketing Cloud, CQ5 Web Content Management Platform, Digital Publishing Suite, etc. But, I prefer to think that I help media and entertainment clients re-imagine their businesses and transform how they create and monetise their content so they can retain relevance in the new digital world.

Q: How long have you been with Adobe and what cool stuff are you working on in your role at the moment?
A: I’ve been with Adobe for nine months now. Most of that time, I’ve been working with our client Fairfax as they transform their business from an organisation founded in the Industrial Revolution to a leader in the Digital Revolution. Right now, I am working on my 2013 strategy, overseeing the roll-out at Fairfax and working on a few other opportunities across my client base.

Q: What’s the best thing about your job?
A: That’s a hard one. If I have to say only one, it would be the engagement with our colleagues and their enthusiasm, vision and sheer commitment. Human beings have an inherent need to participate and grow in a community and the community at Adobe is ‘adhesive.’


Q: What is something you love to do, outside of work that we don’t know about you?
A: My one big love is my family. I have a great wife and two wonderful sons that make me proud every day. On the rare occasion I can get away from my laptop, we adventure out to the country discovering stuff (frogs, weird shaped stones, and trees that would make a great camp). Maybe the reason I’m at Adobe is free Photoshop and Premier Pro :-) – I take my photography and video seriously. Some of my home pictures and movies are my dearest possessions.

Q: Why Adobe?
A: I was a Senior Vice President at a software company with 60 people and we were laser focused on TWD – Total World Domination. We sold the company to a large consulting firm with 275,000 people. I worked there for four years with the same dream of making a difference but I was stifled by the bureaucracy. The reason why I came to Adobe was for three reasons:
1. I was already helping clients to think about design and build intelligent digital marketing platforms and I realised Adobe was already doing this.
2. The opportunity to work with Marc Gagne, our Japan & Asia Pacific Director of Sales, who I had business relationships with over the years and have a huge respect for.
3. To be part of a team big enough to win, small enough to be agile and cool enough to be fun.

Q: What has been most surprising about Adobe?
A: That we might not necessarily have all the answers as we approach uncharted territories, but we are surely working on them. Adobe has an enormous brand and we’re a relatively large company, but it was so refreshing to discover that we operate more like a start-up (we’re agile, we’re on the go, and we’re constantly looking at ways to improve and challenge the status quo) – I like that, it’s way cooler and our clients dig that!

Q: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
A: I worked with a consultant called Perry for three years who came to help us re-shape our company to sell it. When we started working together, we used to clash daily, until I realised he was about 100 times smarter than me. With that revelation, I began to closely observe how he thought and how he responded to people. It’s difficult to say which piece of career advice I received directly, but indirectly I realised it’s imperative to work with brilliant people and learn from them – it will permanently change your career.