Criteo styles itself as the ‘leading advertising platform for the open internet’ – it chiefly works with retailers, brands and publishers to target audiences and increase visitors and conversions across mobile and web.

John Gillan is the Managing Director of Northern Europe, and he’s our latest interviewee. Here’s what he had to say about his job and his day-to-day.

Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?

We have a very flat organisational structure at Criteo which I think is really empowering for employees and encourages more responsibility.

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

There are a lot of skills that make a successful managing director, leadership skills, commercial acumen, and strategic thinking are a few. But I think the most important skills you learn on the job. That for me has always meant spending 70% of my time honing those specific job related skills, 20% is peer coaching and using mentors as sounding boards to learn from their experience, and the other 10% is learning and reading in more formal education.

john gillan criteo

Tell us about a typical working day?

I don’t think there is a typical working day as I’m not the biggest fan of routines! I make sure that I make the time to walk the floor every day to catch up with and support our teams, and I try to spend as much time as I can with our clients to make sure we’re aligned with their business. I like to see our teams working as an extension of our clients’ teams, constantly working together to drive the best results.

What do you love about your job? What sucks?

I love growing teams, I love growing businesses, and I love growing people. I don’t like company politics. They’ll always be part of any job, but I believe in focusing on the 10% of things that will have the biggest impact on the business. If it doesn’t add value to the business on a daily, monthly, yearly basis, it’s not important.

What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?

Any technology that improves productivity and helps to support a healthy work-life balance. I’m a big mobile working advocate, there are better ways of working efficiently than being tethered to your desk.

Any advice for new marketers?

Be data-led not data driven. Many markets are still using data to inform decisions, we need to take that leap of faith and allow technology to make decisions – going from being pushed by data into being pulled by it.