Co-founder and CEO
When did you join Red Gate?
Neil and I founded the company in 1999. I joined full time in March 2001. Prior to that I'd been working from Amsterdam in my spare time.
What was your first ever job?
As a Newspaper delivery boy in my very own little start up – I can't remember when exactly, I was around 13 years old.
Before you arrived at Red Gate what did you do?
I worked for Shell in the Netherlands. I worked as a "Game Changer", a Petrophysicist and a Quant (that is the best approximation I can think of to describe it).
What does your job involve on a day-to-day basis?
My most immediate job is to manage the divisional heads, head of marketing and head of operations and work with all of them as a team. I spend quite a bit of time with Neil discussing what is going on and what we should do in the future. I also participate in overseeing the entire company's workings in what we call whiteboard tours – where I go and see just about everyone in the building once a month. Recently I've been spending time managing process – which is something that seems to happen to you when a company gets beyond a certain size. Generally I see my role as caring about Red Gate becoming a great software company and being an amazing place to work.
What do you like about being CEO at Red Gate?
I find my job exhilarating, immensely rewarding and consuming – it is the best job I will ever have and the best job I can think of. I feel like I'm part of something special. If I've been out of the office for a couple of weeks and I come back I can be quite overwhelmed by all that is happening. People outside of Red Gate often seem to assume that Neil and I are responsible for what has happened here and hard to explain that it was a collective effort NOT a heroic CEO that did it all.
Complete the following sentence: I know everything there is to know about...
I did a PhD in an obscure area of physics. One of the things I learned doing that is that knowledge is endless and that knowing everything there is to know is a mirage.
What's your favourite book?
I read a lot but I don't have favourites. Generally I don't have favourites in any aspect of my life. Although I did have a Magnum addiction problem for a while.
What super power do you wish you had (or have but aren't telling anyone because that's the point of being super)?
I'm totally happy with my lot.
Why did you choose Red Gate?
The adventure of working with someone as amazing as Neil and opportunity to live life to the full.
What are your favourite Red Gate perks?
The canteen is great.
What's your most memorable Red Gate experience so far?
One of the recurring themes for me in my life is that it takes me quite a while to realise that something really amazing has really happened. When there were about 30 people at Red Gate, Neil and I were in the office with just the two of us there. One of us pointed out that we'd probably never be in the office with just us there ever again. It is a totally inconsequential memory – it sticks in my mind because that was the moment I felt knew, finally, that we'd created something much bigger than the two of us.
What's your stance on Marmite?
Not for me.
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