John Lenzen’s career has not followed a traditional marketing path and therein lies the strength of this executive. John spent the first 10 years of his career in sales and operational positions, during which time he developed strong subject and functional strength in these areas. This real-world knowledge and strong ‘revenue’ orientation makes him especially credible at achieving success where coordination with technology, sales, and operational peers is critical.
His early marketing experience began at SEI, a 40MM IT consulting firm. While managing their largest relationship with McDonald’s, the company decided to take the solutions it had built for the Golden Arches, productize it, and start selling it into other multi-national restaurant chains. John became the de facto GM and P&L owner of this fledgling software business inside SEI. This included defining a marketing path for the division and making significant investments in upgrading the software.
Whittman-Hart, a traditional systems integration and consulting company, asked John to join to package/productize their solutions to reduce the cost of entry into new customers, and establish the company as a more forward-thinking solutions organization. Four years after he joined, the company merged with 2 other firms to form the large internet consultancy marchFIRST. As Head of Solutions Marketing, John received a crash course in building and productizing services, integrating the portfolios of three different companies with distinct offerings, and establishing market positioning and consistent messaging across different groups and cultures.
Following the bursting of the early internet market bubble, marchFIRST sold off part of its business to Divine Inc., an internet incubator seeking to reinvent itself as a software and services firm. John was asked to manage the Product Marketing function, where he drove product positioning and the development of industry solution sets combining both software and services.
After 2 years, Divine sold off its services business to an interactive agency and IT services firm. John joined as Vice President of Marketing and Communications, where he drove the rebranding of the company to WhittmanHart Interactive.
John then joined Tata Consultancy Services as Head of Marketing and Communications for North America, where he discovered that no brand guidelines existed, no standards, no messaging framework, no coherent website – virtually nothing. As John went about achieving executive-level consensus and establishing these core elements, he was faced with the equally daunting big task of building a field marketing function from scratch. He set about hiring a team, putting into place marketing automation, constructing a demand generation framework and building other core functions.
After being promoted to global CMO, John brought an ever-increasing volume of change to the organization. John transformed and grew the capabilities of the Global Marketing function from 25 to over 300 people globally as the company expanded from $1.5B to over $16B in revenue. Along the way John helped to double top of mind and unaided brand awareness and established the company’s digital and social media strategy, programs and related guidelines. Including highly successful and innovative programs for mobile marketing, video marketing and social media marketing.
After a successful long run at TCS, John was recruited by CareerBuilder to be the Chief Marketing Officer. CareerBuilder was seeking to shift its brand from being just a job advertising company to a broader Human Capital Technology partner and SaaS provider. John quickly simplified the complex brand architecture by eliminating extraneous brands and clarifying messaging. He crafted new brand-level messaging and unified communications across both consumer and business audiences and created a tighter product launch process resulting in improved earned media and sales effectiveness.
John lives in Chicago and is married with one child. He’s an avid tennis player, fisherman and so-so skier.
John was the Global Chief Marketing Officer at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) when I was heading the Digital business there. John is easily the very best CMO I have seen in the tech world. He created the key marketing messages for the company that was adopted by 300,000+ associates and had a direct sales impact. He developed marketing teams and systems that scaled dramatically with the growth in the business. His deep insights, collaborative work style, and a strong sense of program management discipline helped to drive success.
Satya Ramaswamy, Executive Vice President, Mindtree
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