CAREERS: Job interview

Name Stephen Isherwood

Job Head of brand marketing, ICL

Age 40

How did you get into marketing?

My first career interview was for a marketing position within a rapid-growth start-up. The market-led approach and vibrancy of the company convinced me that marketing was where I wanted to be.

What was your motivation for joining ICL?

ICL provided the next challenge that I wanted to accomplish in my career - international business-to-business marketing within the IT and e-business services arena. I also believed that I had a lot to offer a multinational company with Japanese parentage (ICL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu).

What is the greatest challenge the marketing industry faces?

To provide conclusive evidence that a strong marketing strategy can deliver continual customer delight, greater profits and increased shareholder value.

What are the marketing challenges for ICL?

ICL has successfully made the transition from being a UK mainframe manufacturer, to a European operation focused on innovative IT and e-business solutions. The challenge is to change the legacy image it still has today.

How does your MBA help in your role today?

It enables me to clearly understand the broad business issues facing the company, and has equipped me to identify potential strategies, evaluate options and implement programmes that drive the business with profitable growth.

What do you enjoy most/least about your working environment?

The interaction with a vast network of committed individuals, from within ICL and Fujitsu is what I enjoy the most. The many offices spread throughout the UK, rather than the majority of staff operating on a single campus site, is what I like the least.

What individual has influenced you most in your career?

Norman Harrington, my boss at Introphoto. An incredibly demanding person to work for, but the most visionary businessman and motivator I have ever met. The qualities that have driven my career success can in part be attributed to Norman's influence.

Where do you see yourself in ten years' time?

Successful, wealthy and playing with a vastly improved golf handicap.

What characteristics do you look for in the people you do business with?

People who are capable, creative, professional and truly interested in contributing to the company's success.

What would be the one piece of career advice you would give?

Choose a career you really enjoy.

What has been your biggest mistake?

I haven't made any howlers. However, I am very demanding on my own performance and continuously appraise how I could have approached something differently.

What has been your greatest achievement?

There are a number of milestones in my life that I consider as great personal achievements. However, growing the Hitachi brand from a 6% to 24% market share gave me immense satisfaction.

When and where did you last go on holiday?

Arizona in November. We even had the added benefit of witnessing the US election (or non-election).



CV

1980-1986: Advertising and PR manager, Introphoto

1986-1990: Product marketing manager, Fuji Film

1990-1996: Marketing manager rising to group marketing manager, Hitachi Sales UK

1996-1998: European marketing manager, Hitachi Home Electronics Europe

1998-present: Head of brand marketing, ICL.





Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers