Alexandra Maier CGI Director, global marketing & communications – media solutions
What was your first media industry job? My first was at Autodesk Media and Entertainment (formerly Discreet) in San Francisco, US. I started my incredible journey as a marcom and PR specialist in 1998 – what a ride it’s been! I’ve been in it for a long time in various marketing and PR roles, working for some amazing, innovative companies like Apple, Adobe, Autodesk and Avid – both in the US and Germany, always in international roles. I enjoyed a few years as a marketing consultant, crafting my skills, challenging myself professionally and building my network. How many different job titles have you had in the industry? Did your education prepare you for the work? I studied communication economy and science at the Media University in Stuttgart, Germany, which laid the
foundation for my career and sparked my enthusiasm to be in media. To succeed in our industry, you need a passion for it, open to jump in and learn on the job. What was the worst day at work you ever had? Without a doubt, 11 September 2001, when working for Adobe in San Jose, CA. One of the worst days for most of us. The best? There isn’t one day I can single out. I’ve been lucky to experience great memories, celebrating milestones, recognising the team’s great work, travelling and having fun at industry events – and my own individual achievements. What has been the biggest change in the media industry between when you first started and now? When I started my career, it would have been impossible to imagine how we have adapted to working virtually and remotely using my experience and knowledge in the product marketing team. Did your education prepare you for the work? A BSc in electronic engineering helped enormously in early sales roles. If you wish to have meaningful discussions with engineers, it helps to understand the principles of their work. Although I have seen colleagues be extremely successful without that. The most important attribute is real interest and passion. What was the worst day at work you ever had? At the time, the day I was laid off from Grass Valley. In retrospect, it was one of the best things to happen to me, forcing me to take chances and try new things. The best? Professionally, the day I joined Telestream full-time. I had the honour of being their first international employee, building a sales and support organisation in Europe.
the way we have, especially after the past two years. If you could fix one thing about the way people work, what would it be? Committing to more diversity in the industry, mainly gender- and age-wise. Slowly, but surely, more women are appointed to leading positions, which is encouraging. However, there’s still room for improvement, particularly increasing women’s representation in more technical roles, and at C-level. This could be mitigated by appointing more women to board positions – diversity at this level can inspire candidates from varied backgrounds. And formal mentoring programmes that support women in the progression of their careers. What advice would you give to someone seeking a career in the media industry? Build a network and never burn bridges. What has been the biggest change in the media industry between when you first started and now? The reduction in cost of entry to produce content. When I started, a VTR was over £50k, and a vision mixer over £100k. Only a few well-financed companies could afford such equipment. Now, almost anyone can create incredibly professional productions using inexpensive cameras – or even smartphones and production software like Telestream Wirecast, which starts at under £500. As a result, people with creative talent are finding it easier to produce and publish content. If you could fix one thing about the way people work, what would it be? That’s a tough one… I really can’t think of anything that stands out. What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking a career in the media industry? Be interested, ask questions and take every chance to try something new.
George Boath Telestream Director of channel marketing
What was your first media industry job?
In 1983, installation and commissioning manager for GEC McMichael, a long- defunct manufacturer of standards converters and satellite uplink. How many different job titles have you had in the industry? Seven roles, all in the equipment supply side of the industry. After GEC, I joined Tektronix as sales engineer for video test equipment, then had the fortune to be European sales manager for the Profile video server, at the dawn of the file-based video age. I later became director of marketing for Grass Valley in Europe, then from 2000 to 2004 I was an independent marketing consultant. During this time, my best client was Telestream, and it was clear this was a company that was going to be successful. When the chance arose to join them as sales director for EMEA, I jumped at it. More recently, Telestream let me step back from frontline sales management,
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