Inside Audible

Audible’s CTO Tim Martin Has His Eye on What’s Next

A close cropped headshot of Audible CTO Tim Martin with his face, smiling, shown against a grey background. He is wearing grey framed glasses and a grey and white checked button down shirt.

Tim Martin joined Audible in 2014, and stepped into the role of Chief Technology Officer in 2020—a year that presented unique challenges. While companies everywhere adapted to working virtually, and the needs of customers around the world shifted almost overnight, Martin led a 600-strong tech team in keeping Audible’s services performing seamlessly and innovating and adapting to the times, crediting customer obsession and agility as key to business resilience. He was happy to answer some questions about life and work (and the coffee that helps fuel it!).

Why did you join the Audible team?

I’ve been a listener since 2007. I love that Audible is such an important and intimate part of peoples’ lives, so having the chance to participate in that was very attractive. As a digital media company, technology and innovation play such a fundamental role in propelling Audible forward. But what tipped me was Audible’s distinctive culture, that I would be working “shoulder to shoulder” with other missionaries who are expected to passionately debate what is best for customers, but do so with kindness and compassion. And I’ve been “all in” ever since joining in 2014.

What excites you about working at Audible?

What’s next. There are millions of people worldwide who need Audible in their lives to entertain, to escape, to learn, to educate, but they just don’t know it yet. I’m challenged every day in the pursuit to move faster, do better, and disrupt ourselves so we can reach those who need us.

What is your advice to someone who is interested in applying to Audible?

Study our People Principles. But not the night before your interview because you want to tell us what we want to hear and land the job. Our culture and mission has to speak to you, because working here is demanding and will absolutely challenge you. If our People Principles don’t inspire you, you won’t be able to fake it. So only apply if you are truly inspired by both what we do and how we do it. We’ll never be done or satisfied, but living our People Principles is simply non-negotiable.

If you could travel back in time, where would you land?

Right here, right now. I’d love to travel forward in time to see what’s next, but the past has already happened. I’m all about what is coming and how to be the best version of myself for my family, my friends, and my co-workers. I’m human and flawed so I don’t always do that, but that is what inspires me. There is a quote that goes something like “The only person I am trying to be is better than the person I was yesterday.” And that’s what I am about.

If you didn’t work in tech, what would you choose to do?

Oh gosh, I’m a big sports fan so being a professional athlete seems like it would be really fun. But I’m also too nerdy for that, and since my athletic peak was at age twelve (besides that 7-iron I hit back in 2017, Charley), it’s tech all the way for me! It’s such an amazing time to be in technology, so I wouldn’t trade that.

Lightning Round

Coffee or tea: Both! But black only…it’s not dessert!

Hometown: Tewksbury, Massachusetts

Currently working from: Westfield, New Jersey

Favorite Audible listen: Typically whatever I am listening to. Currently that is Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s The Book of Baraka.

The Book of Baraka cover art
The Book of BarakaBy: Ras Baraka, Jelani Cobb / Narrated by: Ras Baraka, Jelani Cobb