Oracle Data Cloud’s new tech leader aims to boost efficiency, align teams, and promote transparency

February 10, 2021 | 3 minute read
Brigitte Yuille
Content Manager
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Stevan Vlaovic recently joined Oracle as the new Senior Vice President of Technology for Oracle Data Cloud. He enters the role with vast expertise in the fields of computing and engineering. Stevan’s résumé encompasses a mix of Fortune 500 companies—such as Netflix and Yahoo!—and start-ups, including his own. He received a doctorate in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan and earned degrees in computer engineering and electrical engineering.

When Stevan received a call about the new role at Oracle, he recognized an opportunity to improve operations.

“All the ingredients are here, and we have everything we need. It’s just a matter of putting it together in the right way so we can be more effective at what we’re doing,” he explains. “When you look at Moat by Oracle and Oracle Contextual Intelligence, we’re industry leaders in what we’re doing. So how can we leverage that to build a more holistic, customer-centric solution?”

Stevan analyzed Oracle’s unique market position and customers' challenges, and he believes that as Oracle continues to establish a clear strategy for their identity solutions, the effort could not only help solve more problems for customers but also drive a breakthrough for the entire digital advertising industry.

As Stevan sees it, a strong engineering team that can look at the bigger issues while executing day-to-day activities can help fuel innovation. In fact, he fosters a culture of innovation by establishing clear roles and responsibilities. He also likes to give people the time and space necessary to innovate, and then reward them for their efforts.

“His leadership style is calm yet super attentive,” says former Netflix colleague Sangeeta Handa. “Stevan is deeply technical, a product strategist who successfully blends engineering to lead the product forward. He does not accept the status quo and continually pushes the boundaries of product and engineering.”

Stevan says he wants to make sure that people not only have relevant and interesting work but also the latitude to solve problems in the manner they choose. He believes that it’s important for team members to understand their development opportunities and be free to explore different issues, whether it’s within their general area or another area of the company.

“Different perspectives are very helpful,” he explains. “What I try to do is create an environment where people aren’t threatened by other people asking questions.”

As a change agent, Stevan looks forward to creating a system that aligns incentives with desired outcomes, and he supports transparency. He believes that when “failure” happens, management either didn’t set the right context or the incentives are not aligned. In his experience, the healthiest product development organizations have a product lead and a tech lead on each feature—with active communication about the what, how, and why—as opposed to product requirements being thrown over the fence.

Stevan also likes to immerse himself in new environments, actively listen, and find ways to relate and understand. However, when determining what has contributed to developing his leadership skills the most, he points to his eight-year-old twin boys.

“For me, my biggest joys are my kids,” he says. Parenting has given Stevan his richest experiences—such as seeing his children riding on boogie boards beside him while he’s surfing—and has also spurred his personal growth like nothing else. “That personal growth and reflection is tested every day, and I feel that it makes me a better manager.”

Stevan’s goal is to make a positive difference and help find solutions. He’ll know that he’s realized success in his job when the people he manages have the strategy and the context to do theirs. “They know exactly what their job is, they know what they’re responsible for, they know what they’re being accountable to, and they know they have ownership over it.”

Stevan Vlaovic's management philosophy

Brigitte Yuille

Content Manager

As a content marketing professional, Brigitte develops strategies and executes campaigns for large-scale, high-budget editorial, video, and social media projects that produce high-volume content.


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