Swinburne graduate Sue Bolton drives global change at Netflix
- Netflix executive Sue Bolton completed her Master of Technology (Business Systems Design and Management) at Swinburne
- Sue is based in Los Angeles, California, and leads Netflix’s international expansion ensuring its movies and shows resonate with audiences around the world
- Sue also supports other women in the technology and innovation sector through life coaching
Sue Bolton’s career has taken her to almost every corner of the globe, but now she’s focussed on a large-scale optimisation and innovation project at Netflix in Los Angeles, California.
As the Globalization PM (Program & Project) Manager at the world’s leading internet entertainment service, Sue is passionate about connecting users to technology that is personalised for them. For global Netflix users, that means exposure to content translated into local languages and content created specifically for local markets.
Sue says that scaling for all audiences allows users to engage with their content in more meaningful ways, and this is reflected in viewing, user and revenue numbers for Netflix.
“This idea of creative localisation is new to the industry. I’ve had to reorganise and mentor a whole new team and set a brand new end-to-end vision and direction,” says Sue.
In 2015, Netflix was operating in 50 countries. By 2018, the company had expanded to 190 countries. To drive an authentic, creative, international localisation strategy, Sue says she had to establish clear roles and responsibilities within the team.
“The work is complex, challenging and ever changing. In my team, there is no hierarchy or running decisions up a chain of command. You are responsible for making the decision that is best for the business,” says Sue.
Sue loves the autonomy of working at Netflix and the culture of innovation. She describes the culture as supportive, transparent, inclusive, diverse and fast-paced.
“My team is strong, innovative, creative and fun. I get to manage really smart, driven people, which makes me incredibly proud,” she says.
“The scope of responsibility at any level is far more significant than any other company I have worked for. I love that I get to be full of ideas and actually implement them.”
Sue is passionate about seeing women thrive in the tech sector.
Sue’s career has spanned almost 20 years. She has managed large-scale technology projects involving product management, globalisation, localisation and change management programs. With her extensive experience, Sue leads the Women in Localisation (WLLA) chapter in Los Angeles. She also operates her own life coaching business to support women to achieve greater heights of success.
“I’ve helped women throughout New York, Sydney and California navigate their careers and operate at the top of their game. Helping people unlock their potential, particularly women in tech, is my passion,” says Sue.
Sue’s Swinburne experience
Sue completed a Master of Technology (Business Systems Design and Management) in 2012 at Swinburne, much of which she studied online.
“I really enjoyed the learnings of my course and applying what I learned to work. I love a challenge and my Swinburne studies gave me the critical thinking skills I needed to be able to break down problems and figure out solutions," says Sue.
Sue encourages anyone wanting to pursue a career in the innovation and technology sector that jumping in head first means that you don’t need to have it all figured out.
“You will figure things out as you go. Have courage, step up as a leader and move something forward. You don’t need to over process or overengineer something, you just have to go for it,” she says.
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