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Carine Clark: Serving Customers and Empowering Employees
By: Melanie Johnson
June 6, 2013
Describing Carine Clark as a rockstar CEO is a natural thing to do. And it isn’t just because she plays the keyboard in a band.
Clark possesses a vision not always common in the CEO community. Her focus is to ensure each customer feels that they are her organization’s priority and to help each employee understand their value to the organization.
“My whole life I’ve wanted to break down barriers and make it easy for people to contribute,” she says.
It’s one reason why Allegiance couldn’t wait to tap Clark as the company’s new CEO in January. Her emphasis on serving customers made Clark a perfect fit for what the company wants to accomplish.
Before joining Allegiance, Clark enjoyed successful stints as an executive at Symantec, Altiris and Novell. She helped establish Altiris as a leading global technology company, growing revenues from $62 million to $230 million during a four-year period. As the CMO at Symantec, Clark led a global rebranding of the firm that integrated brands of many key acquisitions including Altiris and VeriSign while maintaining aggressive revenue growth.
“The future is going to be in the companies that provide really superior customer service,” Clark says. “And the future is going to be mass customization, not mass production. Every company has a problem with churn where they are losing customers. Every company. They don’t do a good enough job at serving the customers...I believe that the future is mass customization to take care of customers and that customers have a choice.”
A template for success was already in place before Clark joined Allegiance. The company ranked No. 5 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private software companies in 2009. It was also named a Top 10 by Software 500 in 2010.
Clark’s mission is to take this successful foundation and build on it. Her goal is to be the consummate servant-leader. She doesn’t shy away from making tough decisions, but she also wants each employee under her watch to feel like they are an important piece of the overall puzzle.
That’s one reason she took the unorthodox measure to meet with every employee personally during her first three months on the job. Clark accomplished that goal with time to spare.
“I wanted to make sure to protect the parts of the culture that were fantastic about Allegiance and I wanted to make sure that everybody was onboard because I need every single person to grow this company,” Clark says. “I knew that I needed to show them that I was willing to listen, and that I needed every one of them to do this job.”
Utah has turned into a second home for Clark—she emigrated from Germany to study at Brigham Young University where she obtained an MBA. Clark has spent more than two decades building successful software companies and has received numerous awards during that time in recognition of what she accomplished.
“I really do feel like the most blessed human on the planet,” Clark says.