What does a global chief revenue officer actually do?

In this feature, we take a look inside the working lives of people whose job titles often warrant the question: 'but what do you actually do?' This week, we speak to John McKoy, global chief revenue officer at ad intelligence company Exponential.

What do you actually do?

As my title suggests my primary role is managing global revenue and commercial operations. This includes overseeing all local business operations across our 15 international regions outside of the US as well as supporting the sales leaders in the US.

I would have anywhere between five to 15 meetings in a day and they can start from my most ‘dreaded’ 2.30am call, throughout the day and then to the (marginally) more socially acceptable 9pm or 10pm, depending on the time zone both parties are in and what day it is.

Most of my day is spent supporting the international businesses and being the conduit between the sales organisation and internal operations.

What does a good working day look like? 

A good day is usually an Aussie Monday as that’s Sunday in the US!  That means I get to enjoy a ‘no conference call’ sleep in and get up around 6.30am. I put on the kettle (I’m old fashioned) and make the first of my many cups of coffee.

I then have breakfast with my kids before they head to school which is a rare treat (which you’ll see from my ‘bad days’). Then it’s into to the office where I’m immediately summoned to the table tennis table for our regular doubles match (after another cup of coffee of course) and walk away with the win. At the moment that’s also a pretty rare occurrence (again, see ‘bad days’).

Mondays for me are normally preparing for the week ahead, I review international operations and prepare for the many upcoming calls. They are generally my most efficient ‘thinking’ days where I have time to formulate strategy and identify macro problem and opportunities.

What does a bad working day look like? 

Good or bad, every day starts with boiling the kettle and making coffee.

Bad days are usually predicated by the specific day of week it is. By way of example I have a bi-weekly 2.30am call which lasts for at least one, sometimes two hours. I’m sure you can guess that the rest of that day is never going to be an entirely good day regardless of what transpires!

Typically, however, a bad day is when things unravel following one of my 6am conference calls which mean I have to get up at 5.30am, miss breakfast with the kids and often field questions from overseas colleagues about Aussie rules, why we have gun control and what our weather is like.

Bad days usually involve discovering an important issue that has to be dealt with in concert with colleagues who are in the entirely wrong time zone to be disturbed. Cue an endless reshuffling of calls, meetings and social engagements to allow me to deal with the issue when their respective countries wake up. 

Bad days are also compounded by (a) being pumped at the table tennis table (I’m competitive); (b) missing dinner with the family and (c) settling in for three to four hours of evening calls to resolve issues and realising that I only have half a bottle of red (which I’ve now swapped my coffee for) to get me through.

However, the kicker to the bad day is when I’m finally done, rush to say goodnight to the kids and look forward to an evening on the couch watching some meaningless rubbish when I realise the dreaded 2.30am call is scheduled for tomorrow. Argh!

What are your goals?

My primary KPIs are company revenue and positive EBITDA across our international operations. I am also part of the global executive tTeam who plan and execute the company’s vision and strategy.

While I have many KPIs, the ones I pride myself on day to day are personal ones – always being open and transparent with my team and trying to always create and maintain a positive culture. I find trust amongst you team is paramount, we all have each other’s back and collaboration is the driver to success.

What’s the most stressful part of your job?

Without doubt opening the laptop in the morning.

Working with global offices there’s SO much that goes on while we are asleep, so I’m usually a little nervous checking my emails in case something has occurred overnight that I could have or should have been involved in. It is, however, the price that you pay for the opportunity and privilege to work in a global role whilst remaining in Australia.

Apart from this it can be challenging trying to keep everyone happy as much as I’d like. The variety of cultures that I deal with day to day plays a big part, as everyone reacts differently. I know you can’t solve every problem, but I try to take the issues and any negative influences away from my team, so there’s limited wasted energy.

Oh… and of course preparing myself to be beaten on the table tennis table yet again.

John McKoy is global chief revenue officer at Exponential.


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