Vic Whiteley spoke to ARN about his passion for building businesses and helping referees for the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
What was your first job?
When I left school I joined Esso Petroleum as a management trainee and I went to university at night. They used to hire a lot of young people out of school and put them through university. I went to the University of NSW [UNSW] and did a degree in economics and finance. I ended up in Esso’s finance department, mainly involved in oil refinery and spent six years of my life in the finance/accounting area.
How did you end up in the IT industry?
I didn’t dislike finance, but I really wanted to get into selling and marketing. I applied to the sales department to get transferred, but they wouldn’t do it because I was too valuable where I was in accounting. Coincidently at the time IBM were advertising for graduates and I was hired. I spent the first year at IBM in a classroom learning how to be a sales person. I love selling and that was the turning point in my career.
How did you progress to where you are today?
I was very successful in selling and was the top new sales person of the year at IBM for the region. I then moved out of IBM and worked for a company called Control Data. They were starting up their initial supercomputer work in Australia and I ended up being their national sales manager. I then moved to Honeywell as northern region manager. After Honeywell I became the managing director of GE Information Services in Australia and they transferred me to the US where I spent three years based in Boston. That was a great career and personal move. When I came back I was the managing director of a company called Concurrent Computer Corporation. They were involved mainly in the gambling and gaming TAB market. I managed the Asian channel for a lot of the American start-up companies that I worked for. That’s where I got my networking and channel experience.
Following that I became the manager of Nokia Network Information Systems, which was Nokia’s security division. In those days security was in its infancy, mainly firewalls and intrusion prevention type of things. Nokia was a channel company as well. Then I decided to finally go and do my own thing. I’ve always worked with big corporations and had senior management roles and loved it. Seeing the way the security market was growing, I started up SecureServ.
What do you like about your current job?
When I was starting up companies in Australia on behalf of American companies, I always loved growing businesses. But I don’t grow them to sell them; I really like the challenge of just growing them. Being involved in security and the channel part of the market, I really enjoy it. What I like about SecureServ is that we’re growing it in a vibrant market in IT. You never stop learning, it’s just stimulating.