From the desk of ...

Ann-Marie MacKay
Director Product and Customer Growth, Sky Ireland

The CV

Ann-Marie MacKay’s academic background is in bio-analytics and her career spans a number of industries from health and beauty to drinks, telecommunications and entertainment in the UK, Australia and Ireland at companies including Procter & Gamble, Diageo, Coca Cola and O2. She joined Sky Ireland last year to assume a role that entails brand, product marketing, trading and customer retention.

Describe your role:
Broadly speaking, I own the trading number for Sky Ireland, responsible for demand generation for all our products. Having a background in consumer insights equips me not just for recommending the product development strategy to recruit and retain customers, but to execute it. Sky Ireland employs more than 800 people in Ireland across contact centre, retail and online sales.
the company’s priorities for 2015?  

We want to continue to innovate in terms of product-offerings and to continue to produce high-quality content. More than two-thirds of Sky’s content spend is homegrown on programmes like Fortitude and we are the fastest growing source of investment for programmes produced in Ireland including Moone Boy and Penny Dreadful.

Your business goals?
My own priorities involve two things: making more time to network to connect with my peers, and to continue to ensure my team has the talent and motivation to deliver. In both cases, I think it is important to continually make things better and not to get stuck. Being in the entertainment industry, it’s vital to appreciate the lighter side of life.

How you handle difficult situations?
I like to think I’m pretty pragmatic. In general, my approach to any difficult situation is to listen, understand and then focus on moving forward and getting to a solution. I think in business putting difficult situations in perspective is very important. And not sweating the small stuff.

Work/life balance?
I travel a minimum of once a fortnight so always have breakfast with my kids before I drop them to school or crèche and get home before they go to bed. Time with family and friends tends to revolve around kids and  food: dinners and barbecues at home, picnics in the park or finding somewhere different to eat that we haven’t been to before. I’m not the best cook but I love having people around – I believe good company makes the food taste better!

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
About 20 minutes. With two children I don’t get much time to myself – it’s all about getting out the door on time which involves a back and forth game of getting myself ready, waking everyone up and chasing the kids around the house to get dressed. Mornings are a lot of fun in my house.

This story appears in the July/August issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in our next issue, out Saturday September 5.