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Team Member Spotlight: Upa Campbell, Chief Marketing Officer
November 1, 2021
We are thrilled to announce that Upa Campbell has joined The Claroty Team as our new Chief Marketing Officer. Upa brings the unique perspective of a former engineer who pivoted to product management before finding her true calling as a marketer. A seasoned executive with deep domain expertise in DevOps and cybersecurity, Upa has a proven track record of successfully bringing new businesses to market.
Upa has previously led in a CMO capacity at Accurics, acquired by Tenable, and Prisma, a Palo Alto Networks business she helped launch and scale. Upa has also served as VP of Marketing at Redlock and was part of the founding team at Zscaler (NASDAQ: ZS). Upa holds a bachelor of applied science degree in computer engineering from the University of Toronto and an executive MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Q: You spent the first seven years of your career working as a software engineer at several different companies, and after that, you spent seven years in product management before finally pivoting to marketing. What led you along that trajectory?
I’ve always been driven by a strong desire to learn new things, and I’ve always kept an open mind when it comes to taking a chance and trying something new. After seven years of working as a software engineer, I understood the technical side, but I was curious about the more strategic aspects of the technology business. I ended up finding a niche in product management and spent seven years in such roles at SonicWALL and Zscaler. At that point, opportunities began coming up to pivot yet again, this time to lead the marketing function. I took that leap, and it ended up being the real best fit for me.
Q: How has your engineering and product management experience shaped your approach to marketing?
I am a very technical marketer, which drives me to really understand the market problem and our unique approach to solving it. In turn, this helps me develop positioning and messaging to rise above the noise. Given my analytical background, I also take a very data-driven approach to marketing. This helps me build plans that are based around measurable goals. I’m a big believer in continuously assessing progress and tweaking tactics to ensure success.
As far as my product management experience goes, I’m used to having profit and loss responsibility which helps me develop a marketing strategy that optimizes return on investment.
Q: As part of the founding team at Zscaler and having led the marketing efforts of several high-growth cybersecurity companies, you’re no stranger to the challenge of driving expansion in a competitive market. What do you enjoy most about this process?
I am a builder by nature. I enjoy the process of studying a market and building a winning strategy, as well as establishing new programs and processes that previously never existed. I also enjoy building a team, mentoring people, and working together toward a common goal.
It can be an uphill battle when you’re offering a new and innovative solution that people don’t yet realize they need, and I enjoy that challenge. As a marketer, you need to have conviction to overcome the inertia people tend to have, which can keep them from moving past outdated solutions that fail to effectively protect their industrial operations.
Q: What compelled you to join the Claroty team?
When evaluating opportunities to decide what I wanted to do next in my career, I asked myself: Is the market interesting and important? Is the offering compelling? Do I want to be part of this team?
Claroty solves the pressing challenge of protecting critical infrastructure, which is now more important than ever given the recent acceleration of digital transformation. Second, Claroty has a proven offering with over 350 customers globally across a broad range of industrial and critical infrastructure sectors, including General Motors, Coca-Cola, and Pfizer. And following Claroty’s $140 million pre-IPO funding round in June, the opportunity is ripe for just the sort of strategic growth I’m most passionate about. Last but not least, I was drawn to Claroty’s world-class leadership team, its industry-leading Team82 research arm, and the strength of the company’s people-oriented culture as a whole.
Q: What challenges do you most look forward to taking on as Claroty’s Chief Marketing Officer?
I really want to establish Claroty as an iconic brand in the cybersecurity space through increased awareness and thought leadership. We’ve already built a strong foundation for doing so with the efforts the team has already made to share research insights and educate the market through thought leadership content. Moving forward, we have a lot of opportunities to scale that up in order to accelerate our growth and enter new geographies and verticals.
Q: Do you have any tips for staying productive while working from home?
First and most importantly, you need to assess your posture and invest in an ergonomic setup. Exercise is great for your physical and mental health, so I suggest taking advantage of the lack of a commute and use that time to squeeze in some fitness into your routine. I even have a stationary bike set up at my desk, which I really love, because it allows me to get some movement in on even the longest of workdays!
Q: What’s a fun fact about you that many people may be surprised to learn?
I grew up living across many different parts of the world, and as a result, I learned to read and write in five languages: English, French, Arabic, Hindi, and Assamese. I moved around a lot growing up, living and attending schools in India, Kuwait, the U.S., and Canada during my K-12 years. It made me adaptable from a young age and gave me first-hand understanding of very different cultures. It also got me used to being out of my comfort zone from a young age, so I’m never afraid to take risks, dive headfirst into something new, or start over from scratch. It’s important to be okay with being vulnerable and figuring things out along the way.
Q: Any favorite vacation spots? Is somewhere top of the list for your next trip?
My favorite vacation spot is Bali. It has so much to offer—from beaches, rainforests, and terraced rice paddies, to its rich creative culture and artist communes. It’s truly a beautiful and peaceful place.
As far as where I’d like to go for my next trip? I have no solid plans yet, but I’d love to explore the islands of Greece and Turkey. I love places that offer a combination of beautiful beaches and fascinating history.