Growing up in Mexico City, Alexis Langagne had his feet on the ground and his head in the clouds.
The son of an architect father and psychologist mother, Langagne seemed smart from the start. At the same time, he felt compelled to listen to his musical muse.
So Langagne took up the drums at age 6 while attending a Montessori-style school. "I used to practice with, you know, wastebaskets and whatever tool was available at home," he remembers. And practice made perfect.
As he breezed through academics, graduating from high school at 16, his parents acquiesced to their son's creative urge and arranged to have him study with internationally renowned drummer Al Lopez. "But I had to practice between six and eight hours a day," Langagne says. "And then I had a rock band."
But a "left brain, right brain" dichotomy eventually saw him drifting away from music to pursue a physics-engineering degree at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana. "I was completely passionate," he says, just as he was with music.
"I was very curious to learn about the corporate world, and that's how I started my career in the information technology industry," he explains.
Over the past quarter-century, Langagne, now 49, has moved among companies (IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Oracle); regions (Latin America, Asia-Pacific and North America); and disciplines (sales, marketing, operations and strategic planning) and earned an MBA along the way.
He's convinced that his years as a musician instilled in him a greater power of concentration while his immersion in the sciences allowed him to deal with technological change more readily--two qualities that helped him succeed in a series of assignments culminating in his current role as Vice President of Operations for North America at Oracle.
About 18 months ago, Langagne says, he realized that he wanted to work for a company committed to innovation "where the cloud and all the digital transformation trends are going, and I thought Oracle was a fantastic company," he says. His transition to Oracle was helped along by a former boss at Hewlett-Packard who was already on board.
"The cloud basically eliminates, pretty much, barriers for any type of technology to be offered in the market," Langagne says, and Oracle's global business units enable the company to provide industry specific applications for running a core business on-premises or in the cloud. The tech giant enjoys strong partnerships with more than two dozen industries, helping...