Mark Johnston

Celonaut Spotlight: Mark Johnston, VP of Customer Value, US Midwest

What makes working at Celonis special for you?

From day 1 (actually even during my interviewing), I have felt like Celonis is “home.” Years ago, I came out as gay, and the experience did not go smoothly – in fact, in many ways, it was quite painful (and I certainly made my share of mistakes in the process). It was only a few years ago (in my early 40s) that I started feeling comfortable with who I was – and when I joined Celonis, everyone made me feel right at home from the first conversation. From our founders to my direct boss to our teams – everyone sees diversity as one of our greatest strengths. When Celonis changed their logo to rainbow colors for Pride month – I knew once again, this is home!

Which advice would you give to less experienced talents who are just starting their career?

Find a great mentor – someone who is just a few steps ahead of where you currently are. Set up some regular touchpoints with them. Ask about their greatest success AND their failures and listen up. A great mentor is one of the best gifts you could ever receive so treat them kindly – and then turn around, give back and be a mentor for someone who is a couple of steps behind you.

Which key qualifications should applicants have to join your department?

1) A passion and love of customers and 2) a dedication to delivering value and helping make customers successful - in both the challenging and good times.

What challenges do you face every day and how do you deal with them?

Time management is the biggest challenge as we have a lot of customers, many of whom are new to Celonis, and they need good direction and leadership from their Customer Value Manager (CVM). Work-life balance – in a new and fast-growing company like Celonis, there is ALWAYS more work to do – so the challenge becomes learning how to properly do your job well while also maintaining a good work-life balance so that you do not get burnt out. Healthy, happy employees make healthy happy CVMs!

How does a typical day at Celonis look like for you?

A typical day involves a mix of internal meetings where we prepare and/or review for our customer interactions to make sure we are fully ready to deliver incredible value. We love to meet customers face-to-face, so when that is possible – we go onsite and visit our customers. We also spend time in training and enablement as Celonis is constantly enhancing its software, and we must stay up-to-date on all of the latest and greatest functionality and features.

Describe your team at Celonis in three words.


You are also a father. What are your strategies/ recommendations for others?

I have one kid in college and 2 in high school (for those wondering, I was married to a woman before coming out). We had one additional child who we lost to cancer at the age of 8. I share this simply for the perspective that my kids have been through a lot – the loss of a sibling, my coming out, and the resulting divorce. Through this, I have learned that what a very wise therapist told me years ago is actually true. Be real with your kids – do not try to make it appear that everything in life is easy or without challenges. Be honest – share (in an age-appropriate way) about your own mistakes and how you are overcoming them. They will learn life lessons from you if you give them a chance – and this will hopefully enable them to avoid some of the mistakes you have made.

Mark, VP of Customer Value for the US Midwest Region, joined Celonis in January 2020. Mark holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a Juris Doctorate from Chicago Kent School of Law. Previous to Celonis, Mark worked for other Enterprise Software Companies and served as a licenced financial advisor.


Celonis helps you drive process improvement. Across your entire business. At speed. Companies all over the world use Celonis to optimize their processes, boost their business performance, and lighten the load on mother earth.

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