Industry Profile: Xaxis director of operations, Timothy Whitfield

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 20 July 2015
Timothy Whitfield

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry. This week we head to Sydney to meet Timothy Whitfield, director of operations at Xaxis Australia. 

Duration in current role at the company:

Two years, five months

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
Making advertising welcome

In one sentence, what does your role involve?
My job is to ensure that the engine room in the company runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
Growth - from three to 30 people over two years.
Culture - zero loss of staff in the last financial year. Meanwhile the market has a 30% churn rate.
Safety - brand safety is a war that we fought and won.
Viewability - that's the new battle ground and we are starting to win that war as well.

Best thing about the industry you work in:
Pace - the industry moves so amazingly quickly. There are over 2000 companies in the LumaScape and each week I'm alerted to about a dozen mergers, acquisitions or launches of new tech.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
Only worked at one other company. Previously 12 years at Facilitate. Wrote the first versions of the Facilitate adserver and the Symphony product in my garage!:)

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?
Still working as part of the WPP empire. It's an amazing place to work. They really invest in their staff and grow you to your full potential.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I know all the words to the song "ice ice baby". After a libation or two you may get a chance to hear them. :)

Top networking tip:
Listen - it's a boring answer but it's true. When you are networking really listen to the other person. Leave ego at the door. Put yourself completely in their shoes and be curious how their life has unfolded. I love listening to people tell be their life stories. Especially over a coffee or a beer. 

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:
A. If I need to get back to work then I would say Pekish at 77 Berry Street. - a local coffee shop. I say this because I love being efficient. It takes me 90 seconds to get there from my desk.
B. Sake - Argyle Street. The Rocks. This however is a one way trip. Going here means you are not going back to the office afterwards. Great food. Groovy location.

My favourite advert is:
The Heineken ad where the girl has a walk in shoe closet but the guy builds the walk in beer closet. Absolute classic. Cracks me up every time.

My must-have gadget is:
I like my iWatch however my best 'gadget' is my bluetooth headset for my motorbike helmet. I have a 20 min commute to and from work each day. Just enough time to listen to the ABC radio national news podcast or take a phone call or listen to a book with Blinkist.

My favourite media is:
Um... I'm just getting into Netflix at the moment. I'm love the way that they have disrupted the traditional media business.

My favourite TV show is:
Walking Dead. However I don't like gore. I like it because it's about 'rebuilding' and I wonder how I would survive in that type of situation. However, because I dont like gore I watch it with my 15 year old son and I close my eyes at the scary parts. He tells me when they are over. Ha ha!! 

The last book I read:
Work - seven habits of highly effective people.

Personal - Last days of Socrates

With kids - Marvel's The Birth of Venom.

My mantra / philosophy is:
1. In life - Get up when you wake up. Wake up when you get up. (I dont like running on auto pilot)

2. At work - Do what you have to do before what you want to do. (I don't like procrastination)

3. At home - Give unconditionally.

I got into media because:

Funny story - I'm an engineer with a degree in optoelectronics. I loved working with fiberoptics and building laser systems. However, there wasn't much money in it as a career. Then somebody asked me if I could build them an ad server. I said 'sure' and quickly ran home to lookup what an ad server was. After that I was hooked and stayed in Media ever since.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
Lecturing at a uni

In five years' time I'll be:
Still working with the WPP empire and still within media. 

Define your job in one word: efficiency

What's your poison: Jack and Ginger (ale)

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