Call Genie: VP Product/Software Development

Call Genie is looking for a VP of Product/Software Development:

Call Genie (www.​callgenie.​com) is looking for a client-facing/​business-focused/​hands-on Product Development Executive to inspire and lead a global development team through the object-oriented design and development phases of creating, enhancing and delivering Call Genie’s CG Suite of current and future generation of solutions that utilizes enterprise level Java, web, speech recognition, SMS, mobile, advertising and database technologies.

  • Take sole ownership to ensure successful development of all Call Genie’s products/​solutions with our customers as per the expected profit margins.
  • Sit on the Steering Committee on all solution delivery engagements.
  • Act as a single point of contact for Call Genie’s Development Teams, and other stakeholders such as CILs, the sales organization and clients by establishing a close relationship with both technical and business primes with all parties.
  • Champion and actively promote the use of development best practices, methodologies and standards throughout the global development organization.
  • Ensure and lead as required, collaboration between the development leaders, Product Managers, Infrastructure Architects, Data Architects, QA Architects and Customer Implementation Leaders to gain understanding of customer requirements and features.
  • When appropriate (or if required) be prepared to lead the global development team(s) through product development challenges for vital accounts.​  This would include hands on work, coaching, mentoring and/​or actions to:
    • Assist with the analysis and architectural design of Call Genie’s commercial applications and translate them into proven Java based solutions.
    • Provide strong technical, hands-on leadership and oversight to developers working on development and implementation projects.
    • Lead the planning of development activities and work with the team to create and maintain estimates of efforts required to meet development and implementation objectives.
  • Develop and maintain a broad theoretical understanding of current hardware and software technologies.
  • Develop a high performance culture with pillars of professionalism, respect, performance, team work, quality and client satisfaction.

The Good
It’s a very senior role, as vice president in charge of product development / software development.  They’re purportedly an agile shop.  The technology stack seems reasonable from what I can tell, and the voice-recognition side lends some interesting technical challenges.

The Bad
CallGenie looks like they’re facing some hard times, financially.  They’re down to a $0.07 stock price from $2.50 around mid 2007, or $0.67 a year ago.  That’s a pretty steep decline, even in the current market.

What’s Missing
What’s happening with CallGenie’s finances and stock price?  How are they reacting to the current market situation?  What does the software and product development team look like (size, composition, breakdown), and how will you fit into it?  What are the immediate and the long-term challenges facing someone in this position?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to joining a company that’s having such a tough time when the economy seems like it might still have some bumps in it.  Then again, challenges are opportunities, and this might be an opportunity to make a real difference in Call Genie’s trajectory, and in so doing, your own career trajectory.

Your mileage might also vary when it comes to filling both the product development and software development side of the role.  These can have some pretty orthogonal concerns.  I’d want to know that there is at least one senior person who can take the lead in each of these areas on your team, since I’m not sure that one person can do a great job of championing both at once.

Finally, you may or may not be excited by their product line.

The Location
CallGenie is located northeast of Scarborough town centre. It’s basically out of the question for someone not already in the east end and, most likely, driving.  If you were in Scarborough, Markham, or points east, this location might not be terrible, but many candidates will discard this opportunity on that basis alone.

In Summary
If you’re looking for a role this senior, you’ve got a background in product and development, and you’re willing to work out by Scarborough Town Centre, this might be your opportunity.


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