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Five Minute Interview: Paul Le Messurier, Kroll Ontrack

Tell us what you do for a living.

Programme and operations manager for Kroll Ontrack Data Storage Technologies. My focus is on ensuring that we maintain the highest level of quality when recovering data for our customers.

Why are you the right person for this job?

Experience. All the things that I have done and learnt during my career.

What gets you up in the morning?

I usually wake up before my alarm goes off. I listen to Radio 4 or 5 Live while having breakfast. I try to go to the gym twice a week before work.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

There have been many people who have helped me over time, including family, friends and colleagues.

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?

Best business advice is the old adage – learn from your mistakes. The important thing is not that you’ve made the mistake but how you react and bounce back.

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

First of all I would tell them they have made a good choice, it is a great industry to work in. Second, be open, flexible and positive and continuously develop your skills.

What’s running on your smartphone?

I have email and apart from that use Viber, YouTube and LinkedIn. I like to keep up to date with the news and my smartphone is invaluable in this respect.

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

IT companies need to be more creative when thinking about additional services they can offer to clients. You don’t necessarily need to build the capability yourselves, but perhaps by partnering with others. For example, we recently surveyed our channel partners and found that 89% had benefited from incremental sales of data recovery services.

Tell us something most people do not know about you.

I taught myself guitar and played in bands as a student. But it is only very recently that I have started to have guitar lessons, learnt to read music and taken classical guitar exams. It is never too late to learn!

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

Ensure that my family are happy and in good health. Apart from that there are several things I would like to do. One would be to see the northern lights, one of the natural wonders of the world.

What is the best book you've ever read?

Recently I’ve got into autobiographies and I enjoyed My Time by Bradley Wiggins. I grew up in Guernsey and two of my favourite books relate to the island. They are Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo and The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G.B. Edwards. They really capture the character of the island, its history and its people.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

Possibly Kung Fu Panda 3 which I went to see recently with my son. He thoroughly enjoyed it though, which was a good outcome. Fortunately I didn’t see the previous Kung Fu Panda films.

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

First of all I would include the music from my wedding, Pachelbel's Canon and Stanley’s Trumpet Voluntary. Then there would be a selection of my favourite jazz, classical and rock music including some Frank Sinatra.

What temptation can you not resist?

Crisps and peanuts.

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?

My first car was a Citroen Dyane (upmarket version of a Citroen 2CV!). It was a great car for a student. Cheap to run, never needed a service and it had a starting handle in case the battery went flat. I currently drive a Mercedes, a big difference!

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?

No one immediately comes to mind.

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

A bird, having the freedom to fly around and look down on the commotion below.

If you could take part in one event in the Olympics, which would you choose and why?

One of the middle-distance athletic races. I like the way that these races gradually ramp up to a sprint for the finishing line. All of this happening in front of a packed Olympic stadium.

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?

Dr Who. No matter how dire the situation, he would be able to get me out. And it would be a roller-coaster ride along the way.

And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?

A grizzly bear since they are used to preying on other animals whereas a gorilla is not.


This was first published in April 2014

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