In this ongoing blog series, we speak with WP Engine employees around the globe to learn more about their roles, what they love about the cities they work in, and what they like most about working at WP Engine.
In this interview, we talk to Agency Alliances Lead, EMEA, James Hall, who’s been with the company for roughly a year and a half working out of WP Engine’s London office.
Going back to the start, how did you discover WP Engine?
WP Engine first came on my radar when Fabio Torlini, who I worked with at Rackspace, moved to WP Engine to launch it’s EMEA business. That was some 5 years ago now. WP Engine then continued to make some great hires from across my professional network including Brett Watson, who moved from Google to launch WP Engine’s Enterprise business in EMEA. I’d worked closely with Brett in the past and when he said he was building out a team I became immediately interested. I mean who wouldn’t want to explore an opportunity to play a key role within a business with unicorn status and that has core values that really resonate.
Can you explain your current role at WP Engine?
I’m Agency Alliances Lead, EMEA, based out of London. This means I help WP Engine build out it’s channel sales business by forming and nurturing strategic partnerships with the largest agency networks, as well as, leading independents across Europe. I help my partners and their end clients to create engaging digital experiences by ensuring they get the most out of WordPress as a platform.
What is your favorite thing about working at WP Engine?
I’m ambitious and I work best in a fast paced environment. WP Engine is certainly that, it has also given me an opportunity to stretch myself on almost a daily basis. What’s more, for me to be highly motivated and be in a positive state of mind to achieve my best work, I need a company and workforce around me that’s built on a core value of helping the best get better. This is WP Engine through and through.
How do you contribute to the success of WP Engine?
WP Engine believes that the way to exponentially grow its business is via partnerships. Success in my role helps to both unlock and sustain relationships with agencies, who if managed correctly, will continue to bring their clients to WP Engine time and time again.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
There’s so much to achieve that at times it’s tough to fit it all in. You have to have focus and structure to maintain success.
What is a good lesson you’ve learned in your career?
The technology sector is so fast paced that if you don’t treat every day like a school day you’ll simply get left behind. This is equally true for businesses and individuals alike.
What’s your favorite sports team?
Without doubt it would have to be England’s International Rugby team. Winning the World Cup in 2003 was a momentous occasion. Last year in Japan hurt a little though, especially as my boss is South African!
Which one of WP Engine’s values speaks to you the most?
Customer inspired. We are in a fast paced, competitive market, therefore if we want to maintain our position as market leader and continue our hyper growth, it’s imperative that we have our customers front and centre of every decision and action we take.
Have you always lived in London? If not, what brought you there?
Technically I’ve never lived ‘in London’. I’m a country boy at heart and I live in the commuter belt between London and Cambridge. That said, I’ve always worked in and around London because there has been so much opportunity to expand my career.
What are some of your favorite things about working and living in London?
London is steeped in history and has such a diverse and vibrant culture, it’s a fabulous place to entertain clients. Plus it has a constant buzz, you just know that you’re at the heart of commerce and innovation, it’s a wonderful feeling.
What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of work?
As aforementioned, I’m a country boy therefore I enjoy all things outdoors. Be that mountain biking, snowboarding, surfing or simply toasting marshmallows on a campfire.
Favorite TV show of all time?
Come on, just one? That’s too tough! Truth be told I’m happiest when curled up on the sofa with my daughters watching Paw Patrol. LOL
I certainly have one of those all or nothing personalities and due to lockdown, my attention has turned to kitting out the garage to become a gym / man cave. The possibilities are endless, much to the annoyance of my wife.
What would you recommend others to do if they’re interested in WP Engine London?
With ‘built to last’ being a core value, we’re always looking to invest in the right talent for the long term, rather than for short term gain. WP Engine can therefore be a key landmark in your career, so with that in mind, embrace the opportunity you might have to join us by putting every ounce of enthusiasm into the hiring process. Crucially don’t be a false version of you, bring your whole self because whether you’re an employee, a customer or a community we serve, we want to build lasting relationships, so what’s important to you, is important to us.
Thank you, James!
Want to find out more about what it’s like to work at WP Engine? Visit our careers site to see the roles we currently have open and check out our blog for more information about all the great people who work here!