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Chris Pick, CMO of Tanium, on Making It Count

Chris Pick is likely the first – and only – CMO you’ll know who’s been mauled by a grizzly bear and escaped to tell the tale. The summer after finishing military service in his native Canada, he was a surveyor on the Alaskan border. Days into the job, alone on a mountain top, Chris was attacked and narrowly escaped with his life.

“It was a crucible moment in my life,” reflects Chris. “I adopted a new mantra: ‘Make it count.’” And, make it count he did.

During six months recuperating at his parents’ house, Chris taught himself Oracle’s PL/SQL on the Raven notebook his father gifted him. Then, in a full circle moment, he landed an IT job at the hospital where he had been treated after the attack. Little did he know that when the hospital brought in Ernst & Young to help secure patient records, it was the start of a decades-long career in tech.

The Technology Business Management council was an incredible way of mobilizing advocates on our behalf,” says Chris “And it’s still going strong, with 10,000 members.

Taken by his ability to simplify complex projects and concepts, Ernst & Young invited Chris to join them in building and leading their global enterprise security practice. Armed with an incredible foundation in enterprise technology, Chris next joined identity and access management company NetIQ, working his way up from VP of Product Marketing to Chief Marketing Officer.

These experiences set the stage for his CMO role at Apptio, where he led the creation of the Technology Business Management category and council. At the time, Apptio was a high-growth, venture-backed company and Chris proposed it create a nonprofit organization. The board and CEO thought he was crazy, but they took a chance on Chris’ idea, ultimately paving the way for Vista Equity’s $2B acquisition of the company.

“The Technology Business Management council was an incredible way of mobilizing advocates on our behalf,” says Chris “And it’s still going strong, with 10,000 members.”

Now, as CMO of Tanium, Chris is focused on driving the company’s market strategy, brand awareness, and continued growth across the US and international markets.

“Tanium has an amazing culture of people and an incredible product that is beloved by customers. I have a partner in the Chief Revenue Officer and together we figured out the playbook for taking Tanium to the next level.”

Some of Chris’ other keys to success:

  • Focusing on the customer. Chris believes companies create value by putting their customers’ mission and needs first.
  • Hiring the best people. By surrounding himself with top talent, Chris creates winning teams.
  • Supporting his vision with a plan. Chris develops a comprehensive plan for achieving his vision and breaks it down into quarterly, monthly and weekly priorities.