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The Power of Why: Rediscovering Akamai’s Purpose

Written by

Kim Salem-Jackson

October 05, 2021

Kim Salem-Jackson is a data-driven, global marketing executive whose 20-plus-year career has been focused on activating marketing as a growth engine and amplifying marketing’s impact on the business. She is passionate about advanced analytics and data science, and using that data to achieve optimal marketing efficiency. Previously, she served as Akamai’s Senior Vice President, Global Marketing & Corporate Communications, where she led global field, customer and channel marketing, events, corporate communications, and the sales development organization.

As I took on the role of Chief Marketing Officer of Akamai earlier this year, I set out to inspire and challenge our teams to build an impactful global campaign that showcases not just what we do, but what we make possible. What quickly became clear is that to be authentic in talking about what we make possible, we first needed to get crystal clear on our whyWHY our company exists, and what our greater impact on the world is.

It turns out Akamai was not alone in this revelation. According to Forbes, 58% of CxOs agree brand purpose is often the subject of C-suite meetings, and nearly two-thirds of CxOs agree having a clearly defined purpose and demonstrating a positive societal impact is critically important. With good reason, of course. Globally, 67% of people agree that it has become more important that the brands they choose make a positive contribution to society, beyond just providing a good service or product (source: Ipsos Global Trends).

To understand our purpose journey, it helps to start from the beginning. When Tom Leighton and Danny Lewin created Akamai, they saw a huge opportunity to tackle the challenges of the early internet. Their focus on solving the “World Wide Wait” gave Akamai purpose, and created a foundation to become the global leader we are today. 

More than two decades later, solving the internet’s biggest challenges still drives us. Yet the world is no longer waiting. The internet has become a critical lifeline to us all, powering the way we work, live, learn, and play. In fact, the disruption of the past 18 months only magnified the importance of a secure, reliable, and fast internet in our lives — and the importance of rearticulating our purpose. Put simply, we wanted to be bold and aspirational, expressing our unique ability to create better life experiences for billions of people every day by securing and delivering their online experiences.

To define our new purpose statement, we conducted extensive internal and external research to understand what Akamai is uniquely positioned to do and how we can be of service to the world. And we looked at future trends in our industry and the world at large. What became clear is that Akamai has always been a purpose-driven company, committed to applying our tenacity and strength to make a positive impact in the world. While we use complex algorithms, engineering firepower, and the world’s largest edge platform to solve the internet’s toughest challenges, we do it with a view of the bigger picture: making life better.

This led us to give a new voice to our purpose and mission:

Our Purpose: We make life better for billions of people, billions of times a day

Our Mission: We power and protect life online

Over the next few months, we are thrilled to bring our enriched purpose and mission to life, both in the market and within our company. Stay tuned as we honor and celebrate our commitment to make life better for billions of people, billions of times a day as we power and protect life online.

To see how we are making life better for our customers, visit our new page on the Internet of Possibilities.  



Written by

Kim Salem-Jackson

October 05, 2021

Kim Salem-Jackson is a data-driven, global marketing executive whose 20-plus-year career has been focused on activating marketing as a growth engine and amplifying marketing’s impact on the business. She is passionate about advanced analytics and data science, and using that data to achieve optimal marketing efficiency. Previously, she served as Akamai’s Senior Vice President, Global Marketing & Corporate Communications, where she led global field, customer and channel marketing, events, corporate communications, and the sales development organization.