Leadership is about making things happen. It is about inspiring, influencing, and making an impact. Mark J. Barrenechea, CEO & CTO of OpenText, is a prime example of a leader who embodies these traits. He leads OpenText with passion and conviction, and his vision has driven this Canadian tech company―one of Canada’s largest―to new heights.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, OpenText is the market leader in Enterprise Information Management. OpenText software, solutions and services enable enterprises to capture, govern, exchange and use information to its full potential—driving productivity, growth, and lasting competitive advantage.
A true Canadian success story, OpenText was born from a research project at the University of Waterloo to digitize the Oxford dictionary. Over the last 28 years, it has grown into an international software and services powerhouse, with $2.9 billion in revenues and 13,000 employees in 35 countries around the world.
A strategic leader who believes in Tech for Good
Mark has over 30 years’ experience in the technology industry. Before joining OpenText in 2012, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Silicon Graphics International Corporation (SGI) where he helped create a new market from Business Computing, and established SGI as one of its leaders. Prior to SGI, he served as Executive Vice President and CTO at CA, Inc. (formerly Computer Associates International, Inc.). Mark also managed a global team as Senior Vice President of Application Development at Oracle. Over the years, Mark has been influenced by great thought-leaders such as Larry Ellison of Oracle, Tom Jenkins, the previous CEO of OpenText, and Ed Stack, longtime CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Throughout the years, Mark has remained focused on building a durable company that can grow and mature as technology changes. At OpenText, he leads a global team of more than 13,000 employees located in 35 countries around the world. They are united by a mandate to help the world’s largest enterprises find value in their enterprise data and driven by the belief that technology can help solve many of the worlds’ problems. One of Mark’s core beliefs is that innovation, information and technology can be for the good. “At OpenText, we believe that we can make positive changes for the businesses we work with and the communities we live in,” says Mark.
As a cancer survivor, Mark is not one to give up. Already driven to make a difference, surviving cancer was massively influential, creating focus and priority. “I learned that it is critical to make the most of the time we have―to learn, to teach, and to innovate.”
OpenText works with customers to use data and insights to deliver on that promise. Whether it is optimizing visual displays to improve cancer detection, storing vital data to aid the UN’s response to refugee crises, or tracking materials to support ethical supply chains, OpenText products are helping businesses to make a difference. OpenText customers can leverage their data and information to develop talent, build great products and improve the quality, safety and efficiency of internal processes.
“It is important to me that we use technology for good. There are numerous challenges in the world where technology can make a positive difference, and OpenText is committed to using our technology to deliver on that promise.”
OpenText was founded in 1991 and went public on the NASDAQ in 1996, with revenues of $10M. When the leadership team and Board of OpenText rang the bell to open the NASDAQ earlier this year, annual revenues had reached $2.9 billion. Reflecting on this progress, Mark noted “Over 100,000 customers trust OpenText every day with their most vital company information, and we have proven to be a durable, innovative company that delivers results for both our customers and investors. Our software and services are the reason for this. Our employees are the reason for this.”
Mark is a big believer in the Rule of 40 as a key tenant in driving this growth. To achieve a growth rate and profit margin exceeding 40%, OpenText maintains a consistently high margin rate, coupled with consistent growth, both organically and through acquisitions. “These results are built on the continued trust of our customers, which puts the company in a great position for the years ahead,” says Mark.
OpenText CEO & CTO Mark Barrenechea rings the Opening Bell for the NASDAQ
A market leader
OpenText is the leading global provider of Enterprise Information Management (EIM), and the market leader in Content Services and Business Networks. More than 90% of the Fortune 500 turn to OpenText solutions to manage their information, and leading platforms such as SAP and Google Cloud Platform have made OpenText their EIM provider of choice.
In recent years, OpenText has successfully made the transition to a cloud-first approach. They have taken a flexible, customer-first approach to cloud development, offering a powerful mix of hybrid,
multi-cloud and SaaS offerings, designed to deliver EIM to customers regardless of their infrastructure choices. The OpenText Cloud is an enterprise-ready global cloud infrastructure with seamless integration to Google Cloud Platform, AWS and Azure, as well as hybrid connections to off-cloud apps and services.
The company recently launched new features to its Core Share product: Core Signature, a complete electronic signing solution that allows employees and third parties to digitally sign quotes, contracts and other documents, and Core Enterprise Insights, delivers end-to-end customer journey mapping for data-driven marketers, providing fresh insights on campaign performance and customer sentiment.
Mark recently unveiled the latest updates to its security, AI, analytics, and e-Discovery products at Enfuse 2019, and kicked off a 24-city Cloud Summit designed to support customers’ path to the OpenText Cloud.
Mark Barrenechea addresses OpenText customers and partners in his keynote at OpenText Enterprise World 2019, its annual customer and partner conference.
It’s about the people
In today’s disruptive technology landscape, CEOs must continually innovate and find new business models without losing sight of their values. Attracting top talent and creating a team that shares the same vision takes effort. In the end, it all comes back to the company’s values and culture.
“I am fortunate to love what I am doing, and that level of passion is what inspires me to perform better every single day. The people of OpenText and my family have always been a source of strength for me.”
Remembering his battle with cancer, Mark says, “I was very vocal and public with the battle in front of me. I will never forget, being in the hospital room, and my team in Waterloo, Ontario walked into the snow on a cold February day and made dozens and dozens of snow angels to guide me.”
The Canadian roots at OpenText run deep: “Canada is known for its diversity, commitment to democracy, fairness, equity, and a focus on sustainability and economic security. These values were inherent in OpenText DNA from day one, and as we have grown into a global company with offices around the world, we have not only maintained these Canadian ideals but also helped to export them around the world.”
Mark Barrenechea walks alongside OpenText employees in Toronto, Canada at Light the Night 2017 supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. Mark is a survivor or Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Building a successful career
For Mark, career paths are not like ladders: “A ladder implies a straight path―a singular path, organized and straightforward―and to advance up the ladder one needs to knock others off. Career paths are more like obstacle courses. You need to weave and navigate as the terrain requires.”
Mark’s career advice? “Stay passionate about what you do. Leave your country, get out and travel, and experience the world. Build a far-reaching perspective and set of experiences. Be endlessly curious. And build the most influential network of friends, colleagues, and associates.” He truly believes that when people find theirpassion, they do their best work, and are fueled to find self-fulfillment. This too, makes the world a better place.