General Manager for Surface & Mixed Reality Devices,
Microsoft Asia Pacific
Jacqui leads Microsoft’s sales and marketing for Surface and Mixed Reality across Asia Pacific. With 20 years of experience in the industry across multiple product and field teams, she also coaches start-ups.
1. How did you get into Product Marketing?
I started my career in a dotcom start-up, and the entrepreneurial aspect of the business was exciting! I was with Yahoo advertising, back in the day when the internet was just getting mainstream. That’s when Microsoft tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I’d like to join MSN. That was 18 years ago and I couldn’t imagine it going any other way. I started off doing internet advertising and marketing at MSN, where we were helping CEOs get onto this thing called ‘the internet’, and it was all about banner advertising, take-over marketing campaigns on the internet, reaching new audiences and having a website!
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a journalist. I was passionate about telling stories in my home country, Malaysia, and I was very keen to ensure people and issues had a voice. Over the years, as I got into the marketing side of things, I don’t feel like I have strayed too far from the passion to tell a story. Our role today is to empower our customers with great technology to tell their story, improve their competitiveness and become industry leaders. I am passionate about what I do and, in a way, I’ve gone back to my roots of what I aspired to be, and that’s telling impactful stories.
2. If you could be a Microsoft device, which one would you choose?
One of the things I love about each of the devices we have at Microsoft is how seamlessly they are all connected to the promise of reimagining the office-of the future. Microsoft is leading this narrative and if I absolutely had to pick one device, it would be the HoloLens 2, which we introduced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2019!
We are in an incredibly exciting time for our customers, partners, the computing industry and the world. The virtually limitless computing power and capability of the cloud combined with intelligent and perceptive edge devices embedded throughout the physical world create experiences we could only imagine (or see in movies!) a few short years ago.
The HoloLens 2 redefines what storytelling is for our customers. It allows them to enter a new era of computing, one in which the digital world goes beyond two-dimensional screens and enters the three-dimensional world. It will unlock super-powers for hundreds of thousands of people who go to work every day. From construction sites to factory floors, from operating theatres to classrooms. And with artificial intelligence built into the device, you’re able to pull out information and put together algorithms quickly. I think HoloLens is going to change the landscape of mixed, virtual, and augmented reality. Imagine transforming the classroom into an experiential zone, and engaging students in a whole new way about biology, chemistry, and history! The opportunities for everyone on the planet to use and grow with technology innovations like the Hololens 2 are truly limitless and as infinite as our imaginations allow them to be!
3. Diversity & Inclusion – what does that mean for you?
I love this quote from Wayne Gretzky (former Canadian Ice Hockey player): “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” So, my advice for everyone trying to be inclusive, women trying to break into new fields and girls pursuing a career in STEM is to take a chance, be bold!
Sometimes, there are glass ceilings, but other times, we create our own glass ceilings. By showing up and trying, by asking, or taking chances, half the battle could be won. We need to be respectful of skills and experience, be true to ourselves, show grit, determination and the cracks in the fragile ceiling will start to grow and then shatter!
One of my roles at Microsoft is to the lead the Asia Pacific Women@Microsoft employee resource group, and for us inclusion is broader than just gender diversity. For me, it is an environment where everyone can show up and be authentic. Your value to any team is recognized, you can pursue your dreams and make an impact – for me, it’s about creating an environment to enable that. I mentor a few young-in-career women and men. They are building their start-ups and various careers, finding their own path to breakthrough – and all the while trying to remain true to who they are. I’ve worked at a startup, and I understand what it means to be in an era where female representation was just starting in this part of the world. Sharing those experiences with them helps them avoid the mistakes I’ve made.
4. Tell us about a time you pushed your own boundaries.
I’m an adrenaline junkie. And it always amuses me because it scares me as well! I like bungee jump and skydiving. I remember once when I was 15,000 feet above ground and jumped out of a plane (in tandem with a more experienced instructor). Yes I was screaming as we were above open water and as we got closer, I thought how lovely the fish looked from that height. It was stunning. As we got closer, I realized they weren’t fish. It was a pool of hammerhead sharks. Let’s just say there is an authenticity to your thoughts when you are pushing those kinds of boundaries.
Tags: Microsoft APAC