How Did I Get Here?

Joy Howard

Chief marketing officer, Sonos
  • Education
  • Southeast Bulloch High School, Brooklet, Ga., class of 1987
  • Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, class of 1991
  • University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, class of 2002
  • Work Experience
  • 1991–92
    Research analyst, Carter Center, Emory University, Atlanta
  • 1992–93
    Fellow, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1994–2000
    Recording artist
  • 2001–06
    Analyst, product director, Johnson & Johnson
  • 2006–10
    Marketing director for functional beverages, global marketing director for beverage partners worldwide, Coca-Cola
  • 2010–13
    Vice president for marketing for Converse North America and Converse All Star, Nike
  • 2013–15
    VP for global marketing, Patagonia
  • 2015–Present
    CMO, Sonos
  • Life Lessons
  • “Think about your next role in terms of whether it’s going to open more doors than it’s closing.”
  • “There’s both power and limitation to a collaborative approach to creativity.”
  • “Only work on something you truly care about. You can throw all of yourself in and succeed.”
  • “I was an overachiever—class officer, cheerleader, drum major. It got complicated at halftime.”
  • Seely, 1996
  • “Our band was called Seely. Being an artist is the hardest work on the planet. You spend 22½ hours a day doing stuff you don’t want to do for that 1½ hours onstage.”
  • Holding Elsa, her 1-year-old daughter, with a friend of Elsa’s in tow, 2005
  • “The Converse brand has been built by musicians. Suddenly it was apparent that my experience in music was so much more important than I’d realized.”
  • Rock climbing in Wheeler Gorge, Calif., 2015
    “My onboarding plan required that I free dive on the North Shore of Hawaii; snowboard in Hakuba [Japan]; fly-fish in the Tetons [in Wyoming]; snowshoe in Chamonix [France]; climb in the Gunks [in New York]; and go to the national park Patagonia helped create in Chile. I used every product the company made.”
  • As a class officer (left), 1986
  • “One day I thought, Man, I just want to make a decent living and leave the world a better place than I found it. And I could see people applying creativity to business to do exactly that.”
  • “I worked on new product pipelines, specifically around teas. I traveled to tea plantations in Kenya, spent a lot of time in Eastern Europe and a lot of time in China, launching iced tea.”
  • At the Sonos flagship store opening in New York, 2016
  • “Our new global campaign, the Silent Home, launches this month. We believe that a home that’s silent is a home that’s impoverished, and we want to bring back the visceral, shared joy of listening out loud.”