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January 22, 2018

The VentureFizz Career Inspiration Podcast: Sam Zales - Chief Operating Officer at CarGurus

For the tenth episode of our podcast, I interviewed Sam Zales - Chief Operating Officer at CarGurus.

CarGurus is a company that needs no introduction.  As the latest consumer success story in the Boston tech scene, the company went public last year and is valued at over $3.8B.

When it comes to Sam's career, there is a common theme of success. Prior to CarGurus, Sam was the CEO of three companies that have all been acquired. His first CEO position was with BuyerZone, which was a transformative company that probably doesn't get enough credit. Its online marketplace business model has been replicated over and over again in terms of its customer acquisition strategy and sales value proposition. Plus, the company has a very impressive list of alumni.

Thus, I was excited to chat with Sam for our podcast, as we had lots to discuss.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Zales' background
  • What American Express taught him early on in his career about developing talent
  • The ups & downs of building a company in the dot-com bubble
  • CarGurus’ ability to grow and scale the team, plus the company’s contagious humble culture of winning
  • The most important job for a manager
  • Defining the key roles that a startup should hire initially
  • Qualifying talent based on passion and competencies versus pure skills
  • ...and lots more!

You can listen to the podcast in the player below. To make sure you receive future episodes, please subscribe to us on iTunesGoogle Play, or Soundcloud. If you enjoyed our show, please consider writing a 5-star review - it will definitely help us get the word out there!

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