What's your name?
Describe your current role
I am the CEO of Kinzen, which is a data and technology company. We enable media companies of all shapes and sizes create personalised user journeys that build trust, loyalty and revenue.
What are your day to day responsibilities?
Kinzen is an early stage start-up so my primary job is shaping the partnerships that will help us realise our strategic vision. Right now, that involves juggling a range of business development, fundraising and marketing challenges. But it also requires internal leadership, to help my team focus on rapid iteration while maintaining a clear sense of what our shared vision is.
What is your professional background?
I spent the first 20 years of my career as a television reporter and presenter. I was RTE’s first Washington correspondent and I presented Prime Time. In 2010, I left RTE to found the world’s first social media news agency Storyful, which was later acquired by News Corporation. I worked for Twitter, as a VP for media partnerships, before setting up Kinzen in 2017. While I have had a varied career, my mission has always been the same: To create a sustainable future for quality news and information in an age of constant change.
What are you speaking about at CIO 2019?
I hope to talk about some of the elements of leadership in technology that are often overlooked. I believe too much emphasis on technical skills and the management of change and too little on the kind of decentralised leadership required to turn change into a competitive advantage. Whether you are a start-up or an established business, the challenge is the same: Building teams that are stubborn on the vision and flexible on the detail. Above all, I’d like to challenge technology leaders to learn how to fail better as they execute winning strategies.
How do your particular areas of expertise manifest themselves in your current role?
My only skill is building and empowering great teams. To do that, I rely on my experience as a storyteller. I can only succeed if I can articulate the problem we solve and the solution we build in a way that can be easily understood and embraced by each member of the team. I place a lot of stock in emotional intelligence, which is key to help create resilience in teams that encounter and overcome the failures that pave the way to success.
How do you see your role developing in 5 years’ time?
As Kinzen grows into a global company my role will be to maintain our ability to iterate and innovate with the same level of focus and speed as we did when we were just starting out.
What are the greatest challenges facing modern technology leaders?
The greatest challenge facing a technology leader is creating a team that thrives in a world where the only constant is change.
Mark Little will be speaking at the 2019 CIO & IT Leaders Summit on September 25th in the Aviva Stadium Dublin. For more information & ticket options visit