Mike Grinberg

CEO & Co-Founder

What I do at Proofpoint

I am here to empower and support the team in doing their best work. Currently I lead the client delivery, business development, operations and finance functions within the agency. My job is to set the vision and build the plans to make us an 8-figure agency over the next 7 years.

Why you should consider Proofpoint

As the co-founder, I am obviously biased, but I believe we are truly building something different and special here. Agencies have long been known for an always-on, high churn culture that prioritized profits and client needs over everything else.

Gaby and I started Proofpoint out of a family health crisis, and that is the foundation of the culture we are trying to build. We believe marketing’s job is to build relationships at scale, and relationships are built on empathy and trust.

So first and foremost, we want to take care of our people, so they can take care of our clients, and we can all together benefit from the great results and profits.

We believe leaders at Proofpoint are stewards of the careers of their team members. This means helping their team navigate challenging scenarios, focusing on training and mentorship, and allowing for and encouraging extreme ownership.

My professional background

As many marketers, I fell into the profession. My original plan was to be a graphic designer and creative director. However, after several internships, including one that exposed me to digital marketing back in 2005, I was hooked and never looked back.

At this point I have “been there, done that” with pretty much every marketing discipline and tactic under the sun. However, my strengths lie in tying marketing strategy to business strategy, customer research, and content strategy and distribution.

Things I like to do outside of work

My likes and hobbies can be broken out into two categories – physical activity and learning.

I love being outdoors. Doesn’t matter where, just give me my hiking and camping gear and drop me off in the middle of the woods and I’m happy as a clam. I have a full home gym and use it on a daily basis. And last, but not least, I am a combat sports enthusiast – used to compete in Muay Thai, and now just train when I have the time.

I love learning and am consistently reading, listening to podcasts and watching documentaries. If I am not learning something new, I get bored.

Outside of these things, you can find me watching a Liverpool FC game (YNWA) or watching a boxing or UFC pay-per-view.

As a manager of people, I care about...

  • Extreme ownership – own your work – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • Curiosity – always be learning.
  • Proactiveness – ask for forgiveness, not permission.
  • Transparency – don’t beat around the bush and tell it like it is.
  • Integrity – do what’s right. Always.
  • Empathy – take care of each other.

Things you can expect to learn from me

Honesty, directness, encouragement, empowerment, empathy, and transparency.

I will not micro-manage you, and if I do, that means something is wrong. I will always be honest with you, and you will always know where you stand with me. My goal is to empower you to be your best self. If I can teach you something, I will, and if I can’t, I’ll find you someone who can.

Advice for candidates

Be ready for questions – lots of questions. According to Gretchen Rubin’s 4 tendencies, I am a Questioner. This means that I always look for justification for an action or recommendation. I will not take action until I am convinced—via my line of questioning—that it is the right action to take.

This means that if you are going to present something to me, you need to be prepared. Always ask yourself: “what would Mike ask?” Because that will help you prepare. If you’re not able to answer my questions, it is unlikely that I will be convinced, and you will likely be left disappointed. This has nothing to do with me needing to be right, but everything to do with how my brain operates. I am fine being proven wrong—it happens often enough around here! 😁

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in
the mouth.

Fun Facts About Mike:

Favorite Sports Team:

Liverpool Football Club (#YNWA) ⚽

Favorite Band:

Red Hot Chili Peppers

I take my coffee:

Black. Espresso if you’ve got it, please! ☕

Passtimes & Hobbies:

Martial arts, camping, hiking and traveling

Random Fact:

I was born in Eastern Europe and I’m a native Russian speaker