Adam Glick – Intercom
Finding a website is easy. Finding your way around one? Maybe not so much.
But wait, there’s a message bubble in the lower right corner—someone is offering to help you with everything from a customer support question to making a purchase decision.
Customer-messaging technology is getting better all the time, with live chat, bots and apps combining in user-friendly ways that build relationships while helping businesses grow.
In 2011, San Francisco-based Intercom was among the first companies to bring messaging to internet businesses. The company now has more than 600 employees working in offices in Chicago, London, Dublin and Sydney. In 2018, following a $125 million Series D investor fundraising round led by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Intercom’s value was boosted to $1.275 billion.
Adam Glick joined Intercom in July 2019 as its first head of legal. It’s a much-needed role given the company’s growth, but one that should not be too confining, he says.
“My role is to provide guidance, advice and consultation on numerous legal issues that confront the business on a daily basis,” Glick explains. “Additionally, I’m attempting to implement legal process and some additional rigor without disrupting the growth of the business.”
More than a hello
According to Glick, Intercom’s platform powers more than just live chat. It combines real time consumer messaging with the tools and data businesses need to deliver personal customer experiences at scale.
For a user, this creates a friendly, quick and easy experience. For one of Intercom’s customers, the suite of tools—a data platform, chatbots, apps and integrations—maximize team efficiency. That ensures every interaction with one of their customers is personalized, targeted and contextualized.
“Think of it as an alternative to email,” Glick explains. “Intercom lets businesses deliver the right blend of automation and AI and human connection. By combining the brilliance of humans with the scale of bots, businesses can truly tap into the power of automation.”
Since joining Intercom in the summer of 2019, Glick says he has been learning the business and its most immediate legal needs. Topping the list is helping the company work through its increased load of customer contracts—a result of Intercom quickly building its base with larger customers, he says.
Adding them requires more complicated and lengthy contract negotiations, so Glick is creating the processes to get the contracts to his department and negotiated more quickly.
In addition, Glick has focused on the ever-more complex landscape of data privacy regulations, ensuring Intercom is complying with its data protection requirements.
“When providing our service, we have access to personal data,” he says. “We take that obligation very seriously, and we have built robust security measures to protect this data.”
Beyond assisting the sales organization and compliance with privacy laws, Glick is also looking to enhance and streamline the company’s procurement process, as well as working with Intercom’s people, marketing, real estate and the engineering teams.
It’s a pace he loves, but knowing what to focus on, and when is crucial, he adds.
“What will make me successful in my role is identifying the larger priorities and focus on working through them without getting too distracted by everything going on around me,” he says.
To be sure, that focus has been a hallmark of his career.
Filling the need
A Chicago native who came to California in 1979, Glick—a 1991 graduate of the Golden Gate University School of Law—began his legal career just as the internet was coming of age. He’s been working for technology companies for 20 years, as an associate general counsel at AboveNet Communications and senior corporate counsel at Splunk, a software company. Before coming to Intercom, Glick was associate general counsel and senior legal director at Nutanix.
His professional life has been about effecting change and creating structure, Glick says, and his success would not be possible without being a good communicator who understands the challenges a business is facing.
“It is imperative as a legal resource in a company to be a creative problem solver,” he says. “And not to say ‘no we can’t do this,’ rather, ‘let’s figure out a better way that might require another step or two in order to do it properly.’”
Does he slow down outside the office? Not really. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, getting as much exercise as his schedule permits. He and his family travel when possible (Greece, Thailand, Mexico and Italy are among his favorite destinations). In Italy, Glick was able to watch the bareback riders in the Palio di Siena horserace clatter around three laps in the city’s Piazza del Campo.
There was no horserace when Glick joined Intercom, however. He was headhunted as the company needed an attorney who had worked with burgeoning businesses needing structure.
Being the first member of the legal department for a company of this size, and tasked with building out its functions, is not for the faint of heart, however.
“The challenge is literally building a legal department for a company that is moving at 100 mph, but the challenge and the enjoyment are one and the same,” Glick says.
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