Hi Maya! Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from?
I’m an eclectic, French, Lebanese, Russian mix but I’ve lived in the UK for 20 years, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere.
How did you get into technology?
I scored a seat on the Cisco graduate program after I graduated with a Masters degree in international business from the University of Leeds. That got me into the world of hardware for the internet and then I quite quickly moved into Google and the actual front end of the internet.
What was working at Google like? Was that where you met Nigel and Karima?
I worked with Nigel briefly, who was Google’s associate general counsel, and a bit longer with Karima. We were part of what felt like the very early stage of Google’s European business. At times, it was one of those places where there were more great ideas and opportunities to implement than resources. This was back in the early 2000s and it gave me a great opportunity to grow and learn so fast at a very early stage of my career. I truly loved my experience there and had massive opportunities to work on many different aspects of the business. It gave me the best foundations I could wish for in my career. Looking back now, I can see that there was very limited diversity, not so much in terms of gender and ethnicity, but definitely in terms of age and neurodiversity. Everyone went to the same version of good schools or were former consultants. Google has been proactive since, of course, about correcting this.
When did you decide it was time to move on?
I spent more than five years at Google doing some marketing work, some partnerships work, and international expansion within EMEA from a marketing perspective. And then I was headhunted by Not on the High Street. They needed to build up their digital marketing and product functions and start thinking about international expansion. It was a great one-year stint and we established the digital marketing function (previously it had been all PR and catalogues), launched their first app and gave them a framework for international expansion. Later, I became the Chief Marketing Officer at Pharmacy2U.