We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Toni Adams to our executive team as the vice president of partners and alliances! After a great stint at ThoughtSpot where he led the alliances strategy and built the global partner ecosystem, Toni decided to join Starburst, one of the fastest growing start-up in the data and analytics space that's building a new paradigm for modern analytics. It’s award winning SQL-based MPP query engine is helping world’s leading organizations democratize data and accelerate their digital transformation journeys.
Toni has held multiple leadership roles focused on partners, solutions, and technology at both Fortune 500 and start-up companies with a track record of building thriving partner organizations. In Toni’s experience, partners have consistently proven to be a foundational driver of growth, scale, and lowering customer acquisition costs. He also believes that the expected value from partners is a direct result of a broad commitment from the team to engage and be inclusive of their needs.
Toni grew up in Namibia, studied in South Africa, and spent over a decade in Germany before moving to the United States in 2006. After moving across three continents, he found home in Menlo Park, California. “They say home is not where you are born but where you are understood and I feel at home here in California with my family,” he says.
He lives with his wife, daughter, and two dogs, Bella and Happy. Outside of work, he enjoys golf, yoga, good food, and coffee.
Below are excerpts from a Q&A with Toni. Enjoy!
Chitra: We’re stoked to have you onboard, Toni. Welcome! Why did you decide to join Starburst?
Toni: Thank you, I am super excited to join the team. My passion is to work for companies where partners are crucial to achieving their growth goals and objectives and this is indeed the case at Starburst. Also, I believe, Starburst is a true game-changer for customers, enabling the fastest path from data to insights, with all data made available for analytics without having to worry about the data. Most importantly, I like my manager and everyone I’ve met here. I believe the management has done a great job in hiring great talent to drive growth which inturn will attract more great talent.
Chitra: From Symantec and VMware and from Qlik to ThoughtSpot, you bring a wealth of industry experience. How do you plan to leverage that at Starburst?
Toni: Our experiences, good or bad, help us grow and shape us as individuals and leaders. My experiences of leading and building partner organizations have taught me how to best achieve revenue and growth objectives with our partners and the team. The best part of having worked for these great companies is the broad exposure to different buyers and how we, with the partner, helped customers become successful.
Chitra: One of your superpowers is building successful and scalable global businesses. That’s huge. How do you do it? Any best practices you’d like to share?
Toni: Repeatability and scale are a result of a well-functioning partner ecosystem. A well-functioning partner ecosystem or partner community results from a broader leadership and organizational commitment to engage partners and build an authentic relationship to make an impact together at the customer.
Chitra: In your view, what are the top three qualities of a good leader? What’s your leadership style like?
Toni: I think the top three qualities of a great leader are integrity, trust, and competence. I would describe my leadership style as clear and collaborative.
Chitra: At Starburst, we deeply care about the values of authenticity, humility, grit, meritocracy, and ownership. Which of these resonates the most with you?
Toni: I believe in all the Starburst values but the two that especially strike a chord with me are humility and authenticity. I believe as we can all learn from each other, and people seek connection with those who are real and open about their fears and weaknesses.
Chitra: Any final thoughts or words of wisdom that you’d like to share with our All-Star team here?
Toni: Let’s get this massive rocket ship off the ground and take the industry by storm!
Toni hopes to hit ground running by delivering positive partner outcomes and building a stellar alliances organization, and we wish him the very best!