Dr. Jacob Shama is the General Manager for Planning AI, focused on developing AI-driven capabilities that drive growth through innovation and advanced planning solutions. He joined Anaplan through the acquisition of Mintigo, the leading AI platform for marketing and sales, where he was the CEO and co-founder. He is the author of the book “Intelligent Customer Engagement – Powered by AI.” Before Mintigo, Jacob was the GM of the leading data science and research center in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). He holds a D.Sc. (Doctor of Sciences) degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University, and M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering, both with honors, from Tel Aviv University.
What brought you to Anaplan?
I joined Anaplan with the Mintigo team as part of the 2019 acquisition. I was excited to see that we share very similar values around openness, collaboration, innovation, and a “get it done” culture. I also was very impressed by Frank’s leadership. I am happy to see that more than a year after the acquisition, our excitement and energy is higher than ever.
What do you find the most rewarding about working at Anaplan?
Customers. Introducing new innovative solutions and capabilities that are well-received and add value to our customers.
What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Persistence. In every journey there are highs and lows – but as you keep focusing on the goal, you will get there. And yes, enjoying the journey is as important as achieving the goal.
What is the most challenging part of working from home right now?
The Anaplan Israel team works closely together. So we are missing the lunches together, the in-person whiteboarding and brainstorming, and just meeting each other. As vaccination is picking up, we are optimistic that we can meet each other in person soon.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
There isn’t a lot of spare time during the work week. On weekends most of my time is spent with my family. We love to play board games together, and the list is very long: 7 Wonders, Dominion, For Sale, Carcassonne, Magic, One Night, Coup, Fluxx, Love Letter, and so many more …
What are you binge-watching to get you through being at home so much?
I love history, I love nature and wildlife, and I love photography (mainly wildlife photography), so most of the content I view is in those areas. I found both “Earth at Night” and “Tiny World” on Apple TV+ innovative and fascinating.