Managing Director of Plantronics, Graeme Gherbaz, established the headset vendor's A/NZ subsidiary. He spoke to MATTHEW SAINSBURY about starting out as a technician, SMB voice and data convergence and his dreams of scaling lofty heights.
What was your first job?
I did a few bizarre part-time jobs through the years when I was a kid, ranging from being a plum-pudding cook to working as a television extra. My first full-time job was with Ericsson Communications as a test technician of telephone equipment.
How did you end up in the IT industry?
Towards the end of high school I took electronics as an elective subject and it just clicked with me, so I ended up working for Ericsson and subsequent to that other telecommunication companies. After working in the technical side of product testing and development, I realised that the business side was where I wanted to be. I decided to go back to university part-time to gain formal business qualifications which took six years. I look back and I don't know how I did that, working full time and studying part time. I did a Bachelor of Business. I then moved into product management and subsequently sales and marketing.
How did you progress to where you are today?
I started off on the technical side, as a test technician, working with new product developments. After a while I developed an interest in project management around new product developments. I think the marriage of the technical skills and business skills has worked pretty well in my favour.