Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware. You’ll learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview process. This week we’d like you to meet Charley Woodward.
- Job title: Director EMEA Renewals, Channel
- Years at VMware: 15 years
- First job: My first real paid job was in a restaurant – initially washing up the dirty dishes and glasses and then I became a waitress. I loved it, loved meeting people, loved earning my own money, loved the independence of not relying on anyone else. I learnt the importance of people working together as a team and the importance of the customer experience being key.
- Fun fact: It’s not unusual to see me dancing on a table (not in corporate life :)) but certainly when I am out partying with all my children (I have 4 children) or with friends. And I do not require alcohol or anything else to bring out the gregarious side of my personality out to play. Life is for living.
- Favorite social distancing activity: I live on the south coast of the UK in a city called Brighton. I absolutely love going out early on a Saturday morning for a long walk with my brother and my dog. For me lockdown was a fantastic opportunity to put the brakes on life, stop chasing the things I don’t have, open my eyes wider and appreciate the things I do have.
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date?
Charley: Having been in and around the high-end tech industry for over 30 years, I have worked in many different facets of sales, including direct sales, channel sales, distribution, and System Integrator/Outsourcer. I started my sales career as a bag-carrying salesperson and subsequently moved into sales leadership. For me, change in our industry is a constant and an absolute given. My personality makes me receptive to change and I truly love the opportunity that changes bring. Many of the companies that I have worked for in the past have either been acquired or merged and ranged from small start-ups to large companies such as Oracle and of course, VMware. I joined VMware in 2006 as part of an acquisition of a start-up that I was head of their EMEA Business. The moment I joined VMware, I was hooked on the mixture of company culture, the customer-centric business model, and the compelling high-value offerings. My initial role in VMware was to lead the UKI Field Sales team.
VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for in the past?
Charley: Oh my God! Where do I start? VMware is one of the very few companies that I have worked for that not only state their culture but absolutely live and breathe it. Our EPIC2 values are central to everything we do as a company. I have experienced so many companies that talk about their values, but the reality on the inside was very different. I love how VMware places the customers of high importance. Our solutions always strive to bring disruptive innovation to our customers and our partner ecosystem is kept high on our radar. When I first joined VMware in 2006, I looked around and quickly established the quote “in 10 years’ time, you will look back on these as the good old days or you missed it. There’s no middle ground so make sure you enjoy the ride and embrace the opportunity VMware brings.” 15 years later, that quote is still valid today!
VMware Careers: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Charley: For me, it’s the feeling that I am part of something great. It’s knowing that my contributions attribute to the success of our company, the success of our partners, and of the highest importance – the success of our customers.
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Charley: Stay humble. Don’t ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself. Try to create a culture where your team feels they are welcome to share their ideas and discuss openly as a team any ideas they have and if appropriate implement them. When these turn to gold, sing at the rooftops about the team or individual that brought such a great idea. You will only be a success if your team is a success. Ultimately great repeatable success in sales is a team sport.
VMware Careers: If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow, what interview tips would you give them?
Charley: Prepare well before meeting me, both in terms of you as a person and your knowledge about our company. I don’t expect a 100% top draw elevator pitch (although that would be great) but likewise, I don’t expect to be the person telling you what we do. I value honesty. Come prepared with some questions.
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