Who is Jennifer Tejada? Jennifer Tejada is CEO and President of PagerDuty (NYSE: PD), a leading platform for real-time operations. She is a seasoned software industry executive and business leader with over 25 years of experience ranging from consumer products to disruptive cloud and software solutions. She has a successful experience in product innovation,optimizing operations and scaling up public and private technology companies.
She led PagerDuty during a strong IPO in April 2019.
Prior to being at PagerDuty, Jennifer was CEO of Keynote Systems where she led the company to strong profitable growth prior to its acquisition by Dynatrace in 2015. Prior to Keynote, Jennifer was Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of enterprise software publisher Mincom, leading its global strategy until its acquisition at the end of 2011 by ABB. She has also held senior positions at Procter & Gamble and i2 Technologies (acquired by JDA Software).
Jennifer is currently a board member of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) and Puppet, Inc. Jennifer has a B.S. from the University of Michigan.
Our guest today is the CEO of new enterprise technology company PagerDuty, none other than Jennifer Tejada.
This episode is the second part of the two-part series on IPO. Jennifer shares with us today what it’s like to go public. This is a celebration of entrepreneurship and you will enjoy listening to this long, formless conversation.
Jennifer has had a legendary career in Silicon Valley. Various media have introduced Jennifer due to the recent IPO of PagerDuty, a leading platform for real-time trading.
In a moment of victory, what Christopher calls “a celebration of entrepreneurship,” Jennifer tells Christopher about the joys and pains of transitioning from private to public.
“I enjoyed the process of being forced to refine our story and our value proposition for retail investors and laypeople. I think it’s really helpful for the company to go through this exercise. “- Jennifer Tejada
Jennifer shares that there haven’t been many significant changes in terms of monthly operations. In fact, she sees the readiness to break two jobs and she and her CFO are committed to making the most of it.
“It’s very hard to describe the intrinsic rewards of looking down from the New York Stock Exchange podium to a group of people and just seeing that, a kind of wonder in their faces. They just don’t believe it, little old man we got here, and it’s one of the most rewarding times of my career. Jennifer tejada
Jennifer also expressed her admiration to her employees who took this important step with her.
“I don’t think there is enough said pay or honor to people who bet on their careers from the start and take pay cuts and take option risks, to see a business through. multiple investment cycles and growth cycles and ups and downs. “- Jennifer Tejada
Jennifer describes the IPO as a big coming-out-party-to-the-world day. In addition, she mentions that one of the reasons PagerDuty went public is to expand its reach, to exploit a huge market opportunity. She believes that being under the radar does not serve this great mission.
“We serve the corporate market and these companies are members of nyse. They are traded on NASDAQ. They expect the level of transparency around our performance and how our capitals are spent and the long-term viability of our businesses. “- Jennifer Tejada
Likewise, ind publicity can help build brand awareness and credibility because the business has to go through a lot of processes that will serve public market investors.
“In my opinion, this rigor and this deeper scrutiny is good for businesses. Hiding in the private market just to stay away from this exam is not a good thing because you cannot survive with bad habits for a long period of time. “- Jennifer Tejada
To learn more about Enterprise Tech Category Queen Jennifer Tejada, download and listen to the episode.
Jennifer Tejada is CEO and President of PagerDuty (NYSE: PD), a leading platform for real-time operations.
She is a seasoned software industry executive and business leader with over 25 years of experience ranging from consumer products to disruptive cloud and software solutions.
Jennifer has a successful track record in product innovation, optimization of operations and scale of public and private enterprise technology companies.
PagerDuty had a strong IPO in April 2019 thanks to his leadership.
Prior to PagerDuty, Jennifer was CEO of Keynote Systems where she led the company to strong profitable growth prior to its acquisition by Dynatrace in 2015.
Prior to Keynote, Jennifer was Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at enterprise software publisher Mincom, leading its global strategy until its acquisition in late 2011 by ABB.
She has also held senior positions at Procter & Gamble and i2 Technologies (acquired by JDA Software).
Jennifer is currently a board member of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) and Puppet, Inc.
Jennifer holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan.
Q&A With Jennifer Tejada, CEO of PagerDuty
- How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
From a young age, my parents showed us how to contribute to our community through acts of service. My siblings and I were church altar servers. I did my first 50 mile bikeathon at age 8 to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. Sharing your skills, time and experience for the benefit of others is a practical and insightful way to give back. It’s a childhood apprenticeship that I really try to do in my career. I am therefore naturally drawn to companies and teams that share these values. Recently my team at PagerDuty and I hosted an event where we brought together female and male leaders from tech companies. We have collaborated to develop practical and achievable solutions to increase diversity and inclusion in our space. We plan to replicate this practice through other events until 2018. It’s a way for us to proactively give back to the tech community, which has been so good for us.
- How has your previous employment experience helped your tenure at PagerDuty?
I started my career with one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, Procter & Gamble. It left an indelible impression on me. I learned classic principles around consumer marketing and research directly from the masters. I still enjoy these basic and timeless lessons, even in the highly technical B2B arena I am in today. For example, whether you’re selling drinks or digital operations management software, avoid the common trap of focusing too much on the snazzy new features you’ve just built into your product. (Consider adding vitamin D or a new widget.) In doing so, it becomes far too easy to stray from the basic problem you are solving for your client. So instead of talking to your client about these awesome new additions, first and foremost, always make sure that you continue to meet their primary needs. This is the fit solution to the problem, not the fit market product.
After P&G, I made the transition into the tech industry working for a fast growing company called i2 Technologies (which was eventually acquired by JDA Software). Then I held senior positions at Mincom (now ABB) and the role of CEO at Keynote Systems. In my mid-30s, I led sales, marketing, product, and M&A and led global teams at high growth technology companies. I had also served on eight corporate boards, which gave me a better understanding of other industries, such as finance and governance. Functional depth and breadth are a key asset in career progression. By the time I joined PagerDuty in 2016, I felt both ready and excited to take on the leadership of a growing global technology company in the emerging space of digital operations management. I encourage my team to grow horizontally and experientially rather than focusing narrowly on a particular expertise. Expanding your knowledge and skills in different disciplines is essential for developing business acumen and empathy.
- What were the highlights and challenges of your tenure at PagerDuty?
Soon after starting the business, I visited London with my daughter. She was carrying her PagerDuty backpack. Someone in the street recognized him, and made a point to come and say hello. My daughter has seen firsthand how much our brand is loved by our user community. It was only the first of many such encounters. I can’t count how many people I have since met who have come up to me and told me their own story of how PagerDuty “saved their bacon” on the job. It highlights how PagerDuty helps individuals and teams do their jobs better.
Don’t take my word for it either. There is evidence in our numbers. Since I started, PagerDuty has brought on thousands of new customers to serve over 10,000 people today. Our rapid growth was recognized in 2016 and 2017 by the Forbes Cloud 100, Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and Inc. 500 lists.
On the other hand, there are inevitable challenges that arise with rapid scaling. Our team has more than doubled in the time I have been CEO and spread to places like Australia
- What advice can you give to women who want a career in your industry?
Walking into a room where you are the only woman, it’s easy to focus on the downside of not fitting in. Instead, focus on how the difference can help you stand out and treat it as an opportunity. Remember, a lot of people in their careers try to get ahead by getting noticed. So stand up, speak, take initiative and lead. This applies to anyone who might feel like the odd duck in a work scenario. Take advantage of your uniqueness.
Another piece of advice I would offer is to make it a priority to build connections and a strong support system around you, as early as possible in your career. Often, as women, we take on various responsibilities, doing double and triple duty as professionals, mothers, daughters and wives. Attending something after work or a conference can easily fall by the wayside. But believe me. You don’t get any less busy over time. So do it while you can. Plus, with digital technology at your fingertips, you can also make professional connections through social media platforms like LinkedIn and even good old-fashioned emails. These efforts will add up to become a valuable community to you as you grow in your career. Having people you can pat on the shoulder for advice can sometimes make or break success. And don’t forget to contribute too. It is an ecosystem and all the members are interconnected. Nourish and strengthen your support system by being an active donor and participant.
- What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career to date?
As a leader, people will test your belief every day. They will question your leadership, your vision and your decisions. Throughout all of this, there is an underlying force that has helped me strengthen my resolve: a core belief in myself.
I must stress that this self-confidence is not about overcoming obstacles or difficult situations. It is about building and maintaining the constitutional courage necessary to stay the course. For me, I do it by a combination of getting the job done and trusting my instincts. Getting the job done means investing a tremendous amount of time in understanding the business, testing hypotheses, getting feedback, studying the industry and the market. I will personally meet hundreds of clients each year. I make sure that I have done all I can to be ready and prepared for what lies ahead. I also learned to listen and trust my instincts, to be purposeful and not second guess my decisions.
- How do you maintain a work-life balance?
In a CEO role, you are always on-call and responsible for everything that happens, throughout the company. Realistically, work-life balance is not always achievable. However, over the years I have devised a fun little tactic that helps me maintain balance. I call her “the plate wringer”. How it works: In my life, I am constantly spinning a variety of plates, trying to keep them from falling and shattering. Sometimes there are just too many plates and some have to fall out. When that happens, I let go of the Pier 1 and Target plates (cheaper), but not the fine china or family heirlooms. These remain standing at all costs.
So I made a clear list of the top priorities from the start. These are my “fine china”, in order of priority: 1. My family (my husband and my daughter) 2. My health and 3. My clients and employees (tie). My cheaper, replaceable “plates” are things like a quick weekend trip or a phone to catch up with an old friend. These can drop if things get too crazy. I can reprogram them. I can not reprogram motherhood or good health. For example, one “plate” that I never drop is taking my daughter to school every morning. These mornings together are a magical time for us. If I don’t take care of my family, none of this is worth it.
- What do you think is the biggest problem for women in the workplace?
In the United States, childcare costs are twice as high as those in France, Germany, Greece and Sweden. The average cost of full-time care for children ages 0-4 here is $ 9,589 per year, more than the average college tuition fee. It is as surprising as it is disappointing. In the United States, the lack of good, affordable child care is a serious barrier for professional women (and men) in the workplace.
On the other hand, the business world is also suffering the consequences. It is estimated that American businesses lose an estimated $ 4.4 billion a year due to lost productivity and absenteeism associated with child care issues.
To top it off, many professionals at their peak of their careers today are of the “sandwich generation”. These are the generation of people between the ages of 40 and 60 who need to support both their growing children and their aging parents. This is going to become a bigger problem as the baby boom generation, which includes much of the sandwich generation now, ages and needs the support and care themselves. As a country, we need to explore and implement large-scale solutions now. We must allow parents to flourish in their careers so that they can continue to make an important contribution to the economy and to the advancement of the nation.
- How has mentoring made a difference in your professional and personal life?
A lot of people think that mentors are going to be cheerleaders or ringing boards for them.
In my case, my best mentors have been the toughest on me. They called me on my own misguided accounts. They pointed out my weaknesses and helped me find ways to work on them. We tend towards people who make us feel good about our shape. That’s what friends and family are all about. Good mentorship throughout my career made me uneasy at times, but that discomfort made me become better and stronger personally and professionally.
- What other female leaders do you admire and why?
Mary Barra is the first female CEO of a major global automaker, General Motors, which in itself is incredible. I also admire how since taking the reins in 2013, she has led the 100-plus-year-old company to transition into the tech space, embracing things like driverless car technology and creation of an electric vehicle (the Chevrolet Bolt EV) that rivals Tesla. It may not be easy to bring innovation to such a legacy industry, but it is exactly what it does, and quickly and efficiently. It’s inspiring.
We’re currently experiencing a rebirth of Oprah Winfrey, after her powerful speech at the 2018 Golden Globes. But I’ve known Oprah for a long time. I grew up with her in my living room. Oprah has risen from extreme poverty to become one of the most powerful women in entertainment, a fully self-made business phenomenon and leader. I admire the way she forged her own unique path to success. She continually strives to be her better self in real and relatable ways, whether it’s about her continued struggle with weight loss or her troubled past. It gives people permission to be themselves on the path to becoming the best version of themselves. She is both a force to be reckoned with and loved.
- What do you want PagerDuty to accomplish in the next year?
With the rapid proliferation of technology, we are seeing businesses in all industries become more and more complex. All the time there are more apps, partners, layered tools in business operations, which then need to run smoothly together. Our ultimate goal, which spans the next year and beyond, is to help our customers navigate this changing landscape by leveraging our unique product, team and expertise. We already have over 10,000 customers, including global brands like Lululemon, IBM and Panasonic. To meet their growing needs, we will need to continue to grow our business. We have just opened two new offices in London and Sydney, and we are on track to continue our expansion over the next year. I anticipate that this continued growth will result in PagerDuty moving from a single product company to the de facto platform that solves the challenges businesses face in executing digital operations in real time. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity.
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Company Website: https://www.pagerduty.com/
Company Twitter: @pagerduty
Personal Twitter: @jenntejada