Our staff spotlight is our blog series where we get up-close and personal with our amazing team members at Sophos. Up next is Tom Foucha, Senior Director for the Product Management MSG Group
Let's Talk Career1. Can you tell us about your role at Sophos? I am the Senior Director for the Product Management MSG Group. I lead the Product Management team in defining product strategy and direction for Central Email and Phish Threat.
2. How did you get to the role you're in now? I spent 14 years at Cisco / IronPort, focusing on Email and Web Security. I joined Sophos in my current role in December 2021.
3. What inspired you to get into IT and security? I began as a bench technician in the early days of personal computers, building and repairing 8088-80286 class machines. That evolved into network installations and eventually connecting customers to the very early days of the internet. I began building firewalls using Slackware and eventually worked for a Value-Added Reseller, where I built a security practice, followed by Intel Corp and some other well-known companies.
4. What do you enjoy most about your role? Every day is different. Sometimes it may involve helping directly with the vision for future integrations and strategy or helping a customer solve a technical issue with email routing.
5. What's something you've done during your time in the organization that you're proud of? I enjoy meeting with customers, whether it’s listening to complaints or compliments. I believe in direct touch. We grow our products and innovation through constant feedback from those who use and benefit from our products. With that, I’ve shifted our team's mindset to increase customer touchpoints.
6. Describe a typical day in your Sophos life? Is there such a thing as a typical day? I work with teams in India, the U.K., and Canada - not counting a global salesforce. So, my day tends to start early and sometimes goes late.
7. What's the best advice you can give to someone who has just started their career? Never lose sight of who your customer is and how they use your products. Never deem any task below your skillset. Even though we have an excellent support organization, I still dig into logs and figure out what is happening. It’s one of the ways I like to learn, being hands-on.
8. What would you do (for a career) if you weren't doing this? Musician – I'd probably starve but that’s what I’d be doing.
Role in the Sophos Community 9. What's a fun fact about you that you could share with the Community? I play guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums, and sing. I’ve had the pleasure of backing up a Grammy-winning artist in the past.
10. Have you posted any Recommended Read guides on the Community? Not yet.
Who are you outside of Work? 11. What are your hobbies outside of work? Mostly music. Recently, my wife and I are starting to explore camping.
12. What’s something you’re planning on doing in the next year that you’ve never done? Traveling around and camping at various places.
13. What's one thing you're really good at? Customer interaction and solution solving.
14. If you could learn how to do anything, what would it be? If I could find the time, I’d like to formally attend a prestigious music college like Berklee College of Music.
15. Tell us about where you live (and your journey getting there - if applicable). I grew up in the New Orleans area and lived in the Houston area for many years as well. I now live in Memphis, TN. My wife and I followed our children to the area during the pandemic.
16. What's your favorite thing about where you live? Memphis BBQ.
17. Tell us something that might surprise us about you. Often people feel intimidated by me, a former U.S. Marine, but I’m easygoing and very compassionate.
18. Any favorite lines from a movie? “Missed it by that much” from Get Smart (2008).
19. If you had a superpower, what would it be? Strength to protect others.