Not your average deal closer

How one Adobe Account Executive is creating unique deals—and having a blast doing it.

Tak ShiraiFor Tak S., every day starts the same: with a 5 a.m. wakeup call, a quiet slip out of the house while his 4-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son sleep, and a brisk 5 km jog. For the senior strategic account executive based in Adobe’s Tokyo office, these morning runs are a great way to prep for the day to come and even find a little inspiration.

“I always come up with new ideas when I jog,” he says.

By 7 a.m., Tak is in the office and already working with the company’s biggest media and entertainment customers in Japan. His focus, the Adobe Marketing Cloud, is also the reason he joined Adobe in the first place.

“When I was working at my former employer and was in charge of advertising and marketing, it was always frustrating that I couldn’t justify the advertising return on investment (ROI) to our customers,” he says. “I was an Adobe Analytics user, and I knew that Adobe could provide the kind of data that customers need to understand the impact of their ad spend.”

So when someone from Adobe called and invited him to join the team, there was only one answer: of course.

“What attracted me about joining Adobe was its corporate strategy to ‘change the world through digital experiences,’ which is what I always felt was possible but other companies weren’t doing yet,” Tak says. “So when the recruiter called, it felt like fateful encounter.”

From day one, he put his skills to use. Tak entered the company at a critical moment in the relationship with certain accounts and was able to turn those relationships into happy ones.

Keeping happy accounts humming along is a fine objective for an account executive. But for Tak, it wasn’t enough.

“I like unique deals,” he says. “I don’t want to introduce a customer to just a single product. It’s a lot more fun if we can create a new business together and become business partners.

It sounds like a grand goal, but Tak did it. Shortly after joining the company, he introduced Yahoo! Japan to Adobe Marketing Cloud. But he set his sights on Yahoo! as a business partner, not just a customer. What if the companies could combine their strengths to offer a single solution to online advertisers?

This summer, it launches: a joint Adobe-Yahoo! platform that lets advertisers create compelling, high-quality ads using Adobe Creative Cloud, then feed those ads to the Adobe Experience Manager, which is integrated with the Yahoo! ad server. The new ecosystem will enable users to create more effective ads with broader reach—and better understand the impact of those ads.

For Tak, the best part of driving this deal was the freedom.

“I don’t feel any limitations at Adobe, even when I’m trying to do some very unique things,” he says. “People here want us to try new, innovative ideas, and I’m empowered to make my own decisions. Even the president of Adobe Japan says we should all be the conductors of our own projects.”

At the same time, he’s not working on his own; there’s a lot of support at Adobe. And this combination of independence and support is one of Tak’s favorite discoveries about working for Adobe.

“Traditionally in Japan, there are a lot of hierarchies and you rarely have any chance to talk to a president or director because there are so many barriers between them and you,” Tak says. “But at Adobe, I just go to the door and say, ‘Hey, we have some issues and I need your support.’ It doesn’t matter if it’s a manager or director or president—the door is open and they will always help.”

Interested in joining the team? Visit our career site to explore career opportunities in Japan.