Often times when companies hire new executives, there can be some ambiguity into who they are. But when the news comes out, it’s an exciting moment to learn more about such leaders and understand what drew them to pursue this new opportunity in the first place.
As part of our executive introduction series, I sat down with Jim McCready, our new President of Adobe Japan. Jim is a highly accomplished executive with decades of experience in enterprise sales and management, both in Asia and the U.S. He joins us from Dell EMC, where he was vice president of Asia Pacific & Japan Converged Platforms and Solutions, based in Singapore. Before his move into the corporate world, Jim was a pitcher for the New York Mets professional baseball team for six years.
I met with Jim the day before Adobe Summit kicked off, while everything was still being set up and attendees were only just beginning to trickle in for the 13,000-person digital marketing conference in Las Vegas.
Is this your first time attending Adobe Summit?
It is. I’m excited to be here and listen to all the key note speakers. I’m looking forward to hear Shantanu (our President & CEO) talk more about digital transformation tomorrow because it is the initial factor that got me interested in joining the company.
I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but how did you first get started in the technology industry? Especially after being a pitcher for the New York Mets.
After six years with the Mets organization, a friend of mine recommended EMC to me. They were known to hire former athletes and I started in an entry-level position. I had business acumen, but the corporate environment was completely new and foreign to me. They had a strong training program and I put in a ton of work. From there, I moved up the ladder and eventually took opportunities in Asia.
After being with EMC for over 20 years, what were you most surprised to learn about Adobe once your started?
I knew it was a good sign that during my interview process, after every conversation, I wanted to learn more about the company and the people. There is a tremendous focus on the people here and Adobe has a great culture. I haven’t been here long, but it’s one thing that has stood out since I’ve joined the company. And it’s been a consistent experience in both Asia and in North America.
As the new President of Adobe Japan, what are you most excited to get started on?
I have so much to learn about Adobe and the customers and partners in Japan. There’s a big sense of urgency to learn as much as possible, which is why it’s exciting to participate in Summit.
What do you foresee will be your biggest challenge and what will success look like after your first year?
The way I see it, there’s massive opportunity in front of us. Adobe is in a unique position and our market is evolving year over year. We have market-leading solutions, so it’s about getting everybody focused and to take advantage of that opportunity. After my first year, I want everybody in Adobe Japan to feel that they’re part of something special.
What did you hate when you were younger but love now?
I was the pickiest eater you’ve ever met. I must have made my parents miserable. But now, I consider myself to be an adventurous eater, my favorite being Japanese food. Though I’m embarrassed to say that I still have a bit of a sweet tooth—I love cakes, ice cream, chocolate—it’s really bad.
What advice do you wish you could’ve given your younger self?
Back then, even when I was playing baseball, my perspective was very intense and rigid, you don’t realize failing is okay. Taking chances help you develop and learn and influence who you become. So, I think I would have told myself, “don’t be afraid to take chances.”
What’s the fondest memory you have as part of the New York Mets?
You know, I don’t remember much about the games. I remember the great times I had with teammates and the camaraderie. I am honored that many of the friendships I developed way back then remain close friends with me today.
For more perspectives from our newest executive team members, read our interview with: