Zoom’s Ex-CMO Will Now Pitch Hybrid Work as CEO of Video-Tech Firm Neat

Zoom’s Ex-CMO Will Now Pitch Hybrid Work as CEO of Video-Tech Firm Neat
Zoom’s Ex-CMO Will Now Pitch Hybrid Work as CEO of Video-Tech Firm Neat


Janine Pelosi is assuming the top spot at another company that depends on the new flexible way of working—one that many businesses are trying to rein in.

Janine Pelosi, former chief marketing officer of Zoom Video Communications, saw the company take off when the pandemic abruptly forced workplaces around the world to go remote.

As she takes up the role of chief executive at Neat, a Norway-based maker of software and devices for videoconferencing, Pelosi said she would try to coax employers to keep those remote policies flexible as back-to-the-office pressure mounts.

Neat is expected to announce her appointment as CEO on Tuesday. Pelosi succeeds Neat co-founder Simen Teigre, who will be moving into the role of chief of emerging innovations.

Since its founding in 2019, Neat has raised more than $70 million, more than $40 million of that from Zoom. That makes it Neat’s largest investor, though not its majority owner. Neat’s products, for the home and office, include cameras with speakers, among other offerings.

Before Pelosi’s eight years at Zoom, she led global demand generation at Webex, now part of Cisco Systems.

Pelosi—who is no relation to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—said that while still at Zoom, she helped brand and launch Neat. Zoom had wanted to invest in a company that it saw as a promising upstart in the space, she said. Zoom’s leaders also had existing relationships with Neat executives from previously working together at Cisco.

“Zoom had no interest in getting in the hardware business," said Pelosi, who left Zoom in May. Neat’s technology works with Zoom but also with rival products such as Microsoft Teams.

Neat said it competes with companies such as Cisco and Logitech International, and said its clients include business-productivity software company Atlassian, shopping platform company Rakuten and customer relationship management company HubSpot.

While the pandemic drove many workplaces to give employees more freedom to work outside the office, the trend is now under pressure. Corporate offices are increasing attendance requirements and stepping up office surveillance to make sure employees are complying.

That has led to some cooling of the once white-hot videoconferencing tech market.

“After the hypergrowth of the pandemic years, the market is seeing significant normalization," Roopam Jain, vice president of research, information and communications technologies at consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, said in an email.

A tepid return to the office in many regions has led to a “wait and watch" approach at companies as they think about modernizing their offices and meeting rooms, Jain said.

Still, less than 15% of meeting rooms are video-enabled, Jain noted, leaving ample room for growth. “Video meetings have become table stakes now," she said.

Economic crosscurrents are spurring many business leaders to bring their employees fully back to the office. But a return to that old status quo would strip workers of the flexibility that has made them happier and more productive, Pelosi argues.

“You’re just going back to that same experience that you had three or four years ago, and we’ve learned a lot," Pelosi said. “We’ve adjusted. Employee expectations are different."

So employers will likely be leaning harder on so-called productivity metrics that track how much employees get done while out of sight, she said. It is a trade-off workers might have to accept if they want the keep the freedom of choosing where they work, she added.

“As an employee, I’m willing to give up a few things to be able to have a more flexible work style and workplace," she said.

Pelosi’s general marketing experience along with being an executive at Zoom when it went public in 2019 have prepared her for her new role.

“I’ve always been able to have a very strategic role at the company," she said. “My style in general is…a little more operations-focused. And I always thought about it as putting my marketing hat on. Because unless your function is operating in the context of the bigger picture, you’re not going to be successful."

Write to Megan Graham at

Zoom’s Ex-CMO Will Now Pitch Hybrid Work as CEO of Video-Tech Firm Neat
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Zoom’s Ex-CMO Will Now Pitch Hybrid Work as CEO of Video-Tech Firm Neat
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