February 22, 2021
10 Questions With Didier Moretti, Serial Entrepreneur and Former VP/GM at Atlassian, Cisco
Didier Moretti is an entrepreneur who thrives on creating and scaling new businesses. Most recently he was VP/GM at Atlassian, where he led the development of Jira, Confluence, and the creation of Service Desk, a major growth business for the company. Prior to Atlassian, Moretti was a VP/GM at Cisco, where he led the creation of significant new businesses in video and the Internet of Things. Before that, he led several startups as CEO, and was the founder and CEO of Annuncio Software, an internet marketing company acquired by Oracle.
Moretti recently took a sabbatical from tech to explore other areas of interest. He is a water sport enthusiast – swimming, kitesurfing, and scuba diving. Didier has a passion for visual arts, when not in the water he can often be found in his art studio. If curious, you can check some of his work here. Moretti holds two Master of Science degrees from MIT, and an “Ingenieur” degree from Ecole Polytechnique in France.
1- If you had a rewind button, what would you change about your journey?
Make time for yourself a priority – to exercise, to learn, and to nourish your spirit. Put these activities on your schedule, and make them mandatory, just like important meetings. Your biggest asset is your own human capital; and just like financial assets, it pays to start good habits early, as there is magic in compounding!
2- What are your 3 biggest accomplishments?
Repeat success in creating disruptive products and scaling new businesses. Creating great work environments and seeing so many people flourish. A loving family and making time to pursue new passions.
3- What’s the best lesson you learned?
It’s OK to make mistakes, as long as you are responsible and learn quickly.
4- Who is your role model?
I do not buy into having “a” role model as no two situations are the same. You should learn from many people, dealing with many different contexts.
5- How did surrounding yourself with a good support system help you advance in your career?
The thing I valued most was having moral support to help me stay true to my values as a leader, especially through the most challenging times. I am grateful to my wife first and foremost, and to some great advisers along the way!
6- What is one habit you worked hard on breaking to improve your life or career?
As an introvert, I hated public speaking. I worked hard at it until it became something I truly enjoyed.
7- What characteristics do you look for in people you choose to work with?
People who are driven, creative, and humble.
8- What skills did you work so hard on acquiring?
People skills. I was poor at it but had to learn out of necessity. Eventually something clicked, and later on it became a forte (you could say that I am a late bloomer!).
9- What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Articulate your personal values early in life, so you can lean forward and live life on your own terms.
10- What excites you and what worries you about the impact of technology on the future?
I am most excited about our ability to learn, experiment, and innovate at scales that were unimaginable even 20 years ago. I worry about our impact on climate, and the burden we are leaving for the next generations.