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10 Best CMOs to Watch 2020

Heather Zynczak: High-Energy CMO of Pluralsight

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Technology is getting better and better by the day. Upskilling is of the essence in such a fast-paced environment for staying up-to-date with the latest happenings in the space. Pluralsight, a Utah-based company is one of the leading names that help everyone create progress through its platform to develop the skills of tomorrow.

Founded in 2004, Pluralsight has helped thousands of organizations transform at scale. One of the reasons for the company’s runaway success has been its CMO Heather Zynczak, who joined Pluralsight in 2016 when the opportunity of solving strategic business problems for organizations of all sizes presented itself. Under her leadership, Pluralsight had a successful IPO launch.

A marketing lumineer

Heather’s marketing career began as a consultant at Andersen Consulting which is today known as Accenture. She eventually, worked with other big names in the finance space including The Boston Consulting Group, and Booz Allen & Hamilton. She has worked with Oracle where she led the vision for more than twenty products as the company’s Senior Director of Product Strategy. Prior to Oracle, she also headed marketing and product marketing for two Silicon Valley startups.

At SAP as the Global Vice President of Marketing, she marketed products that drove $3 billion in annual revenue. Prior to joining Pluralsight, she worked with another Utah-based company as its CMO. She was behind the brand launch of the company. The company’s billing grew from $0 to over $100 million and achieved 100% year-over-year revenue growth under her leadership.

The only woman in the room

Although Heather has an MBA, she finished her finance/ accounting degree when the software industry was beginning to take off. At the time, there were hardly any women in the technology space but she broke the mold and chose to pursue a career in technology. She began her professional life as a web developer where she had eighty hours work weeks building a custom billing system for a large power company.

When we look at the list of successful CMOs throughout history, we surmise that they have an incredibly vast experience working in multiple positions that aren’t just limited to marketing. Heather fits this description. While she began as a coder instead of taking the traditional finance path, she has been in product positions, held engineering roles in addition to marketing roles. These seem to have had a valuable impact on the approach she takes when it comes to her marketing strategies.

She has in time become one of the most sought after figures in the CMO circuit. But being at a high position isn’t always easy in the male-dominated society. Heather soon realized that she was often the only woman room and she wants to change this. Her thoughts and feelings on this come across in her numerous articles that are published in Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, and more. She actively mentors women in tech and is a big proponent of supporting more women to join tech to close the gender pay gap. Pluralsight under her leadership has established a networking group that supports and mentors women in tech.

Her actions of mentorship and has brought her multiple industry recognitions. Heather was named as one of the 30 Women to Watch by Utah Business Magazine and she was recognized by the Women tech Awards for Professional Excellence.

The Marketing Wiz

Heather Zynczak, CMO: A high-energy executive, she joined Pluralsight in 2016. As the CMO of the company, she takes the lead on getting the results that are important for a data-driven marketing organization like Pluralsight. She drives the go-to-market strategy and is responsible for Pluralsight’s global brand visibility. In her 20-year career, she has worked with some the world’s largest and fastest growing enterprise technology companies.

She has a BBA from The University of Austin at Texas and a MBA from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania).

“At Pluralsight, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to create progress through technology and develop the skills of tomorrow.”