For the president of Adobe EMEA, Adobe makes personal and professional life exciting.
During the summer of 2012, Mark Zablan was about to undergo a major life transition. He had finished a two-year assignment in London for his employer, a data and technology company, and was ready to head back to his native U.S. The boxes were packed. The dumpster was in the driveway. The moving vans were scheduled. The kids were already signed up for their new school in the States.
And then Adobe called to gauge his interest in joining the company.
“I told them I was an expat on my way home,” Mark says. “So the interview process had to move quickly.”
The summer Olympics were in full swing in London, so flying interviewers into and out of the city’s airports wasn’t a good option. Most of the interviewing took place virtually, via video conference. And at the end of a one-month process, Mark was asked to become Adobe’s new president of EMEA. With the support of his wife and two children, he accepted.
“They really wanted to stay, so this was great news for them, and I was excited to be joining the industry powerhouse.”
Two years before, the situation had been much different. When the idea of moving abroad became a possibility, the rest of the family was against it. They lived in Newport Beach, a seaside city in California where the weather is perfect and the lifestyle is enviable, and leaping into a new culture on a new continent sounded intimidating. But after living as expats, Mark’s family came to love the opportunities for travel, exploration, and adventure.
“The greatest thing for us as a family was access to Europe and all the travel we could do,” Mark says. “In the first year my kids made new friends from around the world, they rode camels across the Sahara, swam in the Red Sea, took a cooking class in Morocco, skied in the French Alps, climbed the stairs of the Eiffel tower, and went on an African safari. Their Facebook pages were blowing up.” Joining Adobe would mean that their adventures could continue.
In his new role, Mark quickly began his own adventure as he realized that Adobe was entering an exciting new phase of its history.
“When Adobe bought Omniture and began pursuing digital marketing, most of the industry didn’t understand the strategic rationale behind it,” he says. “But after we witnessed how Adobe was helping CMOs and CIOs manage and monetize creative assets then optimize web experiences with analytics and technology platforms, it became clear that Adobe was going for a game-over situation and the rest of the industry was going to be in trouble. And when I became an employee, I was surprised to learn that the products were just as good as advertised. The strategic road map was even better.”
Today, Mark spends his time leading teams across EMEA, directly and indirectly—sales, services, engineering, finance, legal, People Resources, R&D—and raising awareness of Adobe as a thought leader in digital marketing. He says his own leadership style matches that of the company: driving results while encouraging open debate, innovation at all levels, and participation from all corners. But the most important thing, he says, is the way the company invests in its people—which makes it easy for him to do the same.
“The support infrastructure that allows you to be successful here is like nothing I’ve ever seen at any company I’ve ever worked at. The way they are organized and work together to help you be successful is incredible,” he says. “You often go into a new role and new job and feel like, ‘Oh no, this isn’t anything like my expectation.’ But this was. Adobe exceeded it.
Interested in joining Adobe Europe? Visit our career site to explore exciting opportunities.