E718: NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson on building to $1b run rate, early days at Oracle, McAfee & Sun, pioneering enterprise, prioritizing sales, going public, the CEO’s toughest job & the future of employment



about this episode

Zach Nelson is one of Silicon Valley’s most experienced business leaders. After roles at Oracle, Sun, and McAfee, he became the CEO of cloud provider NetSuite in 2002. NetSuite started with less than $1m in revenue and Zach ran it up to a billion dollar run rate, with a recent acquisition by Oracle for $9.3b. Join us for an insightful interview with Zach as he shares unique CEO insights around the founding story of NetSuite, how he transformed the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space, keeping a team motivated, what makes a great product launch, and more.

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01:15: Jason introduces CEO of NetSuite Zach Nelson

03:03: How did Evan Goldberg and Larry Ellison have inclination that the cloud was important?

07:40: Working with Larry Ellison as boss

10:10: What marketing people should focus on in a tech company

14:20: A CEO’s job is to find where things are broken, and fix them

15:15: How to keep people motivated while still being critical of their performance

19:20: Zach left Oracle to join McAfee’s network management team

30:30: The process of making a great product launch

37:30: AI/robotics and job deprecation

39:00: Need to focus on doubling sales force

47:44: When should a company go public?

52:14: Zach’s inspirations as an entrepreneur

58:00: Oracle acquires NetSuite

01:01:43: Impact of repatriation of money on technology space

01:04:30: Zach shares his candid thoughts about Microsoft, Uber, Tesla

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