Seven years ago, Paul co-founded Performance Horizon, a specialist marketing software provider that’s grown impressively ever since. He explains his role, his career change, and his lack of pet hates…
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
As a co-founder and COO, I'm very much involved in the daily operations of the company. Based out of the Newcastle headquarters, my responsibilities include product marketing, customer deployment, operations and facilities. I help ensure that our global business operations run smoothly to maximise value for our customers and all of Performance Horizon's stakeholders.
What is it the company does?
Performance Horizon provides major brands in travel, retail, finance, and digital content with a truly global solution to drive new customer acquisition, revenue increases and profitability gains through their marketing partners and affiliates. Our core product Performance Horizon Enterprise provides a centralised platform for businesses to take direct control of their partner and affiliate marketing including partner migration and management, tracking, reporting and payments in 60 currencies and 183 countries worldwide.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I started my career in 1995 developing websites for an internet company. I was there for over two years before moving to an online business directory where I ran the technology department. Fast forward a couple of years and I was heading the product and integrations team at Buy.at. Prior to co-founding Performance Horizon in 2010, I worked in AOL Advertising for two years as a product director.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
The reception wall of our headquarters is emblazoned with three guiding mandates: "Think Big, Be Tenacious, and If We Say It, We Do It." These are all hallmark traits of a great leader. Leaders have a vision and are able to bring people along to fulfill that vision. They are determined, yet patient. And most importantly, they are dependable and follow through on promises to customers and employees.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Our extremely rapid scale and expansion over the past five years has definitely made it challenging to manage and oversee operations across multiple business units and geographies. We grew into a truly global company thanks to our customers, most of which are well-known, global businesses that have very high expectations for our products, technology, and support. Consistently exceeding these expectations is a challenge I tackle every day with the support of my colleagues here in Newcastle and across our offices on four continents.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
It is really important to find a happy work life balance, and after those long stressful days, I find comfort in family time. It’s really hard to switch off, especially in our industry but my family are a big part in alleviating any stress.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
It might sound cliché, but I really wanted to be a doctor, so much that I actually went to university to study medicine. Really early on, I knew it wasn’t for me.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
I'm actually a very easy-going person so I can't say I have any pet hates, as long as everyone can have a laugh and get the job done, I'm happy.
Where do you see the company in five years time?
We've come a long way since 2010 and we have some great runway ahead of us in the coming years. By staying sharply focused on the success and growth of our customers and their marketing partners’ businesses, we will continue to grow our market share across all geographies and become a top global software company.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
So many businesses focus first on what they have to sell instead of what problem they're solving for their customer. My biggest piece of advice is to listen carefully to customers and potential customers. Understand their challenges and goals and then work hard to deliver a product or service that meets and needs their expectations. Secondly, it's important to build and foster a company culture from the ground up. When you empower employees to think big and make bold decisions, you'll be surprised at the innovation that can happen.
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