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Mark Vena is a seasoned marketing executive with expertise in the technology sector.
Mark Vena has been the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Human Interface Systems Division of Synaptics, Inc. since 2007.
At Synaptics, Inc, Mark ensures that complicated electronics have interfaces that are intuitive and comfortable for consumers to use. Synaptics has worked closely with many well-known consumer electronics brands including Lenovo, Dell, HP, Logitech, Samsung and Sony.
Touchscreens have grown more and more popular. Consumers tend to prefer interfacing directly with screens rather than using an intermediary device. Today, touchscreens are the default standard “interface” for smartphones. These interfaces are increasingly being incorporated into modern laptop computers.
Mark's team markets touchpads and touchscreens for a variety of digital devices from notebook PCs to peripheral devices.
The company uses a sophisticated technology that relies on elements of the human body as input. Synaptics designs sensors that pick up the electrical properties of the human fingers that touch them.
Synaptics is responsible for many innovations in the touchscreen field. Users can simulate the right click and left click commands they typically deploy using computer mouse navigators. The company has developed an entire Gesture Suite consisting of Windows cursor commands. A user can trace a question mark on a touchscreen, for example, to open a web browser.
Synaptics applications are sleek, appealing and cutting-edge. However, there is a customary lag between a new technology’s emergence and its adaptation and widespread usage. Mark Vena decreases that lag time by making businesses aware of the benefits and innovation opportunities provided by Synaptic touchscreen technology.
Mark Vena launched his career by securing a liberal arts degree from Boston College in Massachusetts. He secured positions at top technological firms, rising in the ranks to a position of leadership and marketing authority.
When Mark Vena graduated from Boston College in 1984, the tech revolution was just beginning. Mark majored in history at Boston College and received his Bachelor of the Arts degree in that field. He felt that a liberal arts education was the best preparation for a well-rounded life. Rather than majoring in a technical field, Mark Vena chose to pursue a major that would enable him to analyze and assess change. As Mark recognized, you cannot be risk adverse and remain a successful marketer. The key to success as a marketing executive lies in being a productive and prudent risk taker and Mark believes that his liberal arts education fueled his ability to innovate within his professional field.
A liberal arts education teaches students how to focus on important issues while remaining flexible. Individuals who major in technological fields are called on to be specialists in providing flexible yet focused innovation.
After graduating from Boston College, Mark Vena secured his first job as a marketing sales assistant with IBM. He worked at IBM’s Product Centers, retail stores across the United States that were a precursor to the Apple and Microsoft stores that you see in today’s shopping malls.
The Apple iPad was one of the fastest-selling new products of all time. Industry analysts once doubted that consumers would embrace the tablet format. Skyrocketing iPad sales indicate that those analysts missed the mark. As Mark Vena recognized, consumers increasingly desire a portable digital device that functions as a media station. They want to be able to listen to music on their portable devices. They want to be able to watch streaming videos and read eBooks. Tablet computers are much better platforms for these activities than conventionally designed computers.
Mark Vena had developed a passion for marketing, and he actively sought out an opportunity to get back into the field. When the chance arose to become a consumer product planning manager at Compaq Computer Corporation, Mark took it and spent nearly 10 years at Compaq Computer Corporation. Within a year, he was promoted to the position of consumer product marketing manager of Compaq's Presario brand.
Presario was Compaq's successful line of desktop and laptop computers. Even after HP acquired Compaq, the firm continued to manufacture the Presario brand because consumers regarded it so highly. Mark continued his upward mobility through the Compaq Computer Corporation ranks. In short order, he became a director of consumer product marketing, a director of communications products and a director of mobile products.
By 2001, Mark had become the senior director of SMB product marketing for Compaq's entire North American business group. In this role, he marketed technology solutions to small and mid-sized businesses.
In 2002, Mark made a strategic career move to Dell computer where he oversaw Dell's Dimension line. Dell Dimension was an extremely popular line of desktop PCs designed for home-based business offices and consumers. During the Dell acquisition of Alienware, Mark moved to Florida to manage their marketing group. The Alienware acquisition was Dell's attempt to play a strong role in the exciting extreme gaming segment of the PC market. Mark became the Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for the Alienware Corporation in 2005.
After his time at Alienware Corporation, Mark Vena ascended to his present position of Senior Vice President at Synaptics. He has held the position for the past seven years. The Santa Clara-based company employs approximately 550 people. In 2009, Synaptics earned revenues of approximately $473 million.
Mark Vena credits much of his professional success to the liberal arts undergraduate education that he received at Boston College. Mark believes his education taught him how to think critically and how to organize his time. His liberal arts education taught him how to be an effective communicator and a flexible but focused leader in his field.
Mark Vena recognizes the potential for touchscreens and tablets to vitally impact the technology market. Tablets are lightweight and highly portable. They can easily be slipped into a purse, a briefcase or even a large pocket.
Mark is a great believer in convergence. He believes that consumers have access to an overwhelming selection of electronic devices. He believes that consumers would be much happier with a single electronic device that could satisfy all of their needs. Mark believes that, in the near future, laptop computers and tablets will converge into hybrid and “convertible” form factors. The convergence is inevitable, he affirms, because it will offer greater convenience and satisfaction for consumers. Consumers will no longer need to carry around two different electronic products.
Marketing will play a very important role in this technological evolution. Businesses will need to recognize the approach of change and innovation in the technology industry. They will have to make the necessary adaptations to their existing product lines. Mark Vena is excited by what the future holds for consumers as well as marketing executives in the field of technology.
08/1980 to 05/1984
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