This Is What I Do: Miles Lewis, Last.fm

Senior vice-president, international sales, at music-sharing site Last.fm.

Miles Lewis, senior vice-president, international sales, Last.fm
Miles Lewis, senior vice-president, international sales, Last.fm

What does your job involve?
Raising revenues from Last.fm across the world, excluding the US.

What's it like working at Last.fm?
Last.fm is the hippest firm I have ever worked for. I am surrounded by incredibly intelligent people, from hard-core programmers to music mavens. But everybody is encouraged to contribute ideas and you are made to feel welcome even if you have completely rubbish music taste.

What qualifications and experience do you need?
Sales heads need to be seasoned, tenacious and disciplined. My inter-national sales partners have to meet sales targets while being satellite organisations, so working as a small part of a global giant (Last.fm is owned by CBS Corporation) means you need to know how to work interdependently.

How do you spend a typical day?
Discussing, cajoling and channelling all efforts into persuading the world's communications agencies that the online medium builds brands and that Last.fm offers an engaged, young, upmarket and savvy audience.

What's the best thing about your job?
Making history. In a few years we'll be able to say that Last.fm pioneered a number of revenue-generating strategies that will become the norm for many social networks.

And the worst?
Making history. The pressure to get it right is considerable and my first grey hairs have appeared over the past year.

What keeps you awake at night?
The fact that we are only at the start of an unprecedented moment in history. If the recession means that there's a cataclysmic reduction in marcoms budgets, then only the fittest, leanest and most persistent will win over the next two years. My time is spent getting the team fitter, leaner and better schooled in the art of persistence.

Who helped you get where you are?
My father. I have had role models since I started my career at Haymarket Publishing in 1987, but they have all amplified the lessons taught to me in my early years.

Who do you aspire to be like?
Professionally, I aspire to be like Level 5 managers such as Kimberly-Clark's Darwin Smith, former Asda chairman Archie Norman and the Royal Mail's Allan Leighton. However, I mostly aspire to be a great father and husband.

Got an interesting job? E-mail harriet.dennys@haymarket.com

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