Dealerscope 2019 40 Under 40: Michael Zmugg, SquareTrade
For a look at the rest of the 2019 40 Under 40 honorees, be sure to check out our 40 Under 40 homepage.
Name: Michael Zmugg
Job Title: Vice President, Business Strategy
Company: SquareTrade, an Allstate company
Years in the Industry: 7
Major Accomplishments that you’re proud of: The last year has been full of major accomplishments and successes for the Allstate family that I am very proud to have been part of. First, the team and I worked on the launch and management of the new Walmart protection plan program known as “Walmart Protection Plans powered by Allstate.” This was a huge milestone for the Allstate family and I am proud of the team’s continued dedication on this account, which led to Allstate being named 2019 Services Supplier of the Year and 2019 New or Emerging Partner of the Year by Walmart. Additionally, I was able to lead the launch of SquareTrade Go, an on-demand platform powering smartphone repair, home automation installation and other smart home services. I am thrilled our customers have this offering available to them to make it even easier than before to get their phones repaired and home devices installed. Finally, I also led the acquisition of iCracked, which gives our customers even more same-day repair options available.
What do you like best about your job?: I consider myself very lucky for the team that I get to work with every day at SquareTrade as well as our retail partners. In my role, I get to problem solve in a collaborative way, and, as a result, have built many deep friendships that I otherwise would not have today.
What do you like least about your job?: I travel frequently and spend many nights away from home.
Favorite hobby: Tennis
Last book you read: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Who is your hero and why?: My wife is my hero. She is a full-time litigator and super mom to our three kids, holding down the fort while I travel for work. She’s also a blend of strength and compassion that I aspire to develop.
Favorite consumer tech device: My smartphone is certainly my favorite device. It has changed the definition of convenience in many aspects of my life, allowing me more time (and ways) to connect with my family and friends.
What you’d be doing if you weren’t in tech: I’d be a high school teacher or venture capital investor (or both!).
What’s the biggest problem the industry faces today, and how would you fix it?: I believe a challenge we face in the industry today is how we as a whole can better streamline the adoption and purchasing process for consumers. Today, many customers go to one source to learn about different products, then to another to purchase their products, followed by going to a different source to setup and maintain their products. There is certainly an opportunity here to make it easier for consumers.
What’s your outlook for the CE industry for the next five years?: I believe we are seeing a shift where consumers are becoming more comfortable using new devices and adding even more technologies into their daily lives. As long as we as an industry continue to support consumers from point of purchase through to installation and repairs, I think the industry will continue to grow and thrive.