What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I started out in sales, and I got into IT via Siemens.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
It has to be trains, no contest. Trains beat all those wasted hours stuck on motorways or stranded in a departure lounge. Your four-hour journey can allow you to get four hours of work done, instead of sitting in traffic for the same amount of time.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
Being stuck in a lift with any of our current political leaders - with the exception of Boris Johnson, who would at least be very entertaining.
Should Prince William shave his head?
No need, the poor chap’s already going bald naturally. There’s no escaping the family genes.
In my dreams…
...I like to conduct all my business and calls Roman Abramovic-style, from my luxury Sunseeker yacht.
Oranges or bananas?
In keeping with AVG’s disruptive ethos, I would have to say apples. I was tempted to add something here about it being a reflection of our core values but, on second thoughts, it’s probably best to leave the terrible puns to the marketing guys.
What was the best holiday you’ve ever had?
Ones with plenty of sunshine and activity too. I’m a military history buff so wherever we go as a family there is normally a trip or two to a famous battlefield. The kids are not always appreciative!
What would be your superpower?
I wouldn’t mind being Dragon’s Den’s Peter Jones for a day. He’s so astute and to be able to make visionary investments would be very cool - it might be a kind of superpower.
If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you escape?
This sounds to me like the sort of thing that might happen to a character in South Park. If Trey Parker and Matt Stone decided to do that to me, I think I could live with my 15 seconds of fame.
Print or online news?
I’m probably flying in the face of fashion by saying this, but I’m going to choose print. It makes a refreshing change from looking at screens all the time.
Would you rather draw up the plans or carry them out?
I believe you have to be involved in both to be successful. Your plans may come to nought if you are not there as project manager to see your vision reach its full potential.
Do you use social media?
Yes, for business, but not personally. I am a fan of LinkedIn but I’m afraid Facebook is a bit too intrusive for my taste. I don’t tweet. I think Twitter is for celebrities and people with too much time on their hands.
Will the economic recovery continue?
Apparently the recovery when it comes will see record numbers of start-ups being formed. That’s great news for companies targeting small and growing businesses.
Is IT well taught in schools?
I would say so. I’m constantly amazed at how my 14-year-old son seems to know more about IT than I do - although this may not be down to what he is taught in school so much as the hours of dedication he puts into gaming on his Xbox.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
One of my favourite bosses was Garry Veale, my manager at IBM in the late 90s. He was a great guy and put me through IBM sales school, a great grounding for all the sales and leadership roles I have since held.
What is most important in business?
There’s no substitute for hard work, team spirit and a focus on goals. At the same time, try to preserve a sense of fun and motivation for your team.
Chris McManus is vice president of sales for UK and Ireland at AVG
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