Simplicity, Authenticity, and Growth With Roy Ritthaler, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Flexera

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Marketing Trends Background


“[With] startups or turnarounds… almost always there it’s a breach of the basics. And I had this theory that in order to get to the next level of growth or the next platform for growth… it’s all about simplification.”


What’s the most effective way a marketing team can help its company grow? The answer may be simpler than you think. Roy Ritthaler, the Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Flexera, talks about his first eight months at the IT solutions company and why getting back to the basics is essential for growth. Tune in to learn how to take your marketing team to the next level!

Key Insights

What Was Roy’s First Priority as the New CMO at Flexera? 

“I don’t walk into any situation with an agenda… I have a plan. I have an idea. I want to move the ball forward, but you first have to — you really actually have to assess it.”

Before making any major changes to Flexera’s marketing approach, Roy explains that he first worked to understand the situation and to bring his team together. He shares that his first wins were people-oriented. Roy describes team building accordingly: “Everybody on the team has to know that you have their back.”

What Does Getting Back to the Basics Look Like in Practice?  

“You have to look at what you have. What are your fundamentals? How does sales work with marketing? How do leads flow? How does advertising connect with anything else you do?… How are the people interacting? How does engineering connect with it?… What’s the basic map? If you can’t draw it on one page, you should be able to.”

Focusing on the basics creates a solid foundation so that a team can flourish.

What’s the Power in Being Authentic?

“When you’re talking to prospects, I think it’s all about authenticity. You take what you have from your customer base and you translate it into the market… It’s not the razzle dazzle it used to be. You have a little sizzle. You’ve got to have a vision. You have to give them a place they’re going, but you do it in a really authentic way.”

Roy has found being authentic to be a central asset in both attracting customers and creating a great team. In fact, he notes “candor” as his “favorite” cultural point at Flexera: “The idea of being out there, being real, not being offensive, but being real and being transparent… putting it on the table. That’s really hard to do for people, and we encourage it a lot.”

About the Guest:


Roy is responsible for defining the strategy and overseeing the development of Flexera’s portfolio of solutions, and for shaping Flexera’s relationship with prospective and current customers. An experienced product and marketing leader who is both analytical and creative, Roy has led high-achieving engineering, strategy and go-to-market teams.

Roy’s passion lies in delivering long-term value and helping customers succeed with the solutions they buy and deploy. He’s instinctively collaborative and adept at making connections and building bridges across an organization.

Prior to joining Flexera, Roy was Vice President of Go To Market for Cloud Management at VMware. Before that, he was with Hewlett-Packard and MicroFocus as the head of product marketing for its IT operations software business, which spanned the cloud, data center and IT.

Roy began his career as an electrical engineer at IBM in Toronto after graduating from Canada’s McMaster University. He and his wife have five children, some of whom are at home and some out in the world.


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Episode 323