A Conversation with Eric Fisher, Acacia Communications’ new VP of Sales

By Lisa Crewe | Posted on July 24, 2017

Recently we announced that Eric Fisher has joined Acacia as our VP of Sales.  I spoke with him as he looked ahead to his new opportunity.

Eric Fisher
Eric Fisher, VP of Sales, Acacia Communications

Q: Why did you join Acacia?

A: There are a handful of reasons. First, I truly believe that the company has best-in-class products coupled with extremely deep customer relationships in a segment I know very well. Acacia’s products are unique and proprietary, and I see tremendous room for our products to evolve and grow to address new market needs.  And, while meeting with the team, I quickly realized there are a large number of very bright, talented people in the organization.

Q: Do you see any parallels between the Acacia opportunity with your previous work helping Altera build and expand its business?

A: There’s actually quite a few parallels. Both companies have products that are extremely complex with an extremely complex sales process. Both provide the ability to create intimate, deep customer relationships throughout the organization. With this kind of cutting edge technology, customers see value in what you have and want to meet and talk to you!

Q:  Let’s say you’re at a cocktail party or a barbecue with a lot of non-tech people. How would you describe what the company makes and does and what they help do better?

A: I was trying to explain this to my kids.  What I told them is that information, data, and video, in particular all that video you like to stream on your phone, has to travel somehow, some way. Before it gets to the wireless portion of it, it comes to the connected networks, which are all of these wires, let’s call them, laid in the ground and underneath the water that are used to transmit information, data, and video. It comes in the form of light — that’s optical networking. Acacia’s products take that light, convert it into electrical information, and then transform it into digital information so it can be processed, interpreted and ultimately, consumed on a smartphone or tablet.

Q: You’ve worked at a smaller, growing company, Altera. Then by acquisition, you went to a behemoth, Intel. What will it be like going from Intel to a smaller company with growth potential like Acacia?

A: One of the great things about a company like Acacia is that it is very much in the initial stages of its next phase of growth — and there is the ability to come in and make an impact. When you’re in a really large organization, your impact is much harder to measure because there’s so many more people involved in everything you do. When you’re in a smaller organization like Acacia, it truly allows everybody in the business, from the sales organization, to marketing, within engineering and operations, to have a very real and substantial impact not only on our customers and business, but also on the strategic direction we take as a company.

Q: If you could describe your leadership philosophy in a sentence or two, how would you describe it?

A: Leadership has to be flexible, and that style and philosophy has to change depending on the moment and the environment you’re in. My philosophy is one of collaboration and empowerment; I like to set the vision and establish a framework within which the team can operate, and then really empower them to do their work. My role then shifts to one where I help remove barriers and obstacles to help achieve our revenue and customer goals.

Q: When you’re not building or leading sales teams, what do you do for fun?

A: I spend a lot of time on the weekends at the soccer field watching both my boys play, which is something I really, really enjoy doing. Another thing we like to do as a family during the winter is snow skiing. And in the summer, we like to spend a lot of time at the lake wakeboarding and wake surfing. Then if I get lucky, I like to get out on the golf course every once in a while, although my golf score wouldn’t reflect that.