What is your new position and what does it entail?
Everything Avid makes for creatives in music production, audio post, music notation and live sound is now run from our new audio business unit, and I’m responsible for it all as general manager. Every day I get to lead one of media tech’s most accomplished workforces through every aspect of this business, from ideation and strategy to getting our products into the hands of music and audio creators everywhere. The best part is that Avid’s people are also musicians, producers, DJs and composers, so we’re running on inexhaustible passion for what we’re making.
How has your background prepared you for your new role?
I’ve scored a gig that comes second only to living out the rock star dreams I had as a kid. I wrote, recorded and performed my own music starting when I was 14 (on an old reel-to-reel 4-track in the basement!), went to school for audio engineering and played in bands. I’ve recorded, mixed and produced everything from albums to film scores and jingles, and I still do today in my home studio. Through all of this, I learned firsthand how quickly technology is removing the limits of creativity, and now I get to drive Avid forward in accelerating that pace.
Does this role expand on what you did in your previous post as chief product officer or is it a whole new ballgame?
Exciting new ballgame! My role certainly capitalizes on everything I learned as CPO when I was driving product strategy and development for every market segment we serve at Avid—from TV and film post-production to newsgathering and, of course, music creation. This broader experience has given me a unique perspective on how our different customer segments want and need to work together. In this new role, I get to focus more sharply on audio, and go much deeper into all aspects of the business, from product strategy and development to manufacturing, marketing, sales and customer experience. The idea behind this new organization is to bring even more focus on audio customers, innovate faster and bring more cool new products to market more quickly. Just think about some of the product innovation that hit the market in the last year alone: Pro Tools Carbon for recording, Avid Play for music distribution to consumers, and S1 for mixing in a powerful compact form factor, to name a few. We get a big kick out of surprising and delighting customers, and we’re just getting started.
What are your short- and long-term goals?
I’m doubling down on ramping up the innovation our customers need to be successful in every aspect of their creativity and business. Top of the short-term list is helping users stay productive and collaborative wherever they are. For the longer term, you’ll see us going much deeper into music creation, and making our tools and solutions more accessible to the next generation of music creators, who definitely have different needs than the established pros. Across all the customer segments we serve, we have a lot of really exciting projects underway—I think about it like planes lined up on the runway, ready to take off—that we’re excited to bring to market.
What is the greatest challenge you face?
It’s been stunning to witness how our industry has overturned the pandemic’s roadblocks to build new routes to productivity. More than anything, we’ve all learned that we like remote working and collaboration, and that we want a lot more from it—even after the dust settles and music creators return to normal ways of working. At Avid, we’ve taken up the challenge to ensure that our workflows deliver all their power and capabilities to users wherever they are. I have to point out that Avid’s customer community wields a big influence on where we focus and what we deliver, which has been invaluable throughout the unprecedented change of the past year.