James Gray has amassed over three decades of experience across various disciplines in the technology sector. He is most respected for his product management and leadership in software and data. Over his ten-year career at Microsoft as an IT leader, he built and operated large scale data platforms for major lines of business and led the Enterprise Data Warehouse program. His last assignment was serving as a Principal Data Scientist within an engineering team responsible for optimizing customer engagement channels includes web, chat, and online services. At Phunware, Gray envisioned and built a massive scale knowledge graph that was used to derive mobile insights and power a blockchain-enabled data exchange. He then went on to lead the product strategy and technology infrastructure at Products That Count. As CIO and Head of Data Operations, he was responsible for leading a worldwide team responsible for internal applications and customer-facing infrastructure at Reef Technology

In 2006, he authored the Career Strategy Framework, a playbook for holistically managing a professional career. Gray gained recognition as a leading career strategist and coach that included leading workshops and speaking events throughout Microsoft. In 2019, he formed Graymatter Strategy LLC in Austin, TX to continue his practice of helping people reach their true career potential through strategy and mindset.

Earlier in his career at Aspen Technology, he built the data model and data integration platform for what was at the time the largest integrated supply chain optimization solution in the world at BP Chemicals. He had roles at AspenTech running a professional services organization and leading enterprise integration products as a product manager.

In the 1990s, Gray gained experience in software, control systems, and enterprise systems at the Research and Technology Center within Chevron. He held various assignments across the upstream, refining, and chemical businesses. Gray led the technology strategy and deployment of advanced safety systems across Chevron including a project assignment in Perth, Australia that developed the software for Chevron’s North West Shelf Project.

He holds a Master of Information and Data Science from the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering from Union College.

Gray has traveled the world and lived in top tech cities including Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Austin.

See his LinkedIn profile for a full summary of his experience and achievements.

James Gray



Product Management

Chief Product Officer (CPO) at Products That Count, Director of Product at Phunware, IT Solution Management at Microsoft, Director of Product Management @ Aspen Technology.

20+ years of experience in building products and driving go-to-market activities to grow market share.


Won multiple awards at Microsoft for people leadership. Managed product management team of 50+ people with indirect responsibility of 200+ engineers. Held consulting P&L roles of 10M+. Deep experience in strategic planning and overseeing execution.


Extensive experience running career workshops over 7+ years at Microsoft. Acted as a mentor and coach to hundreds of Microsoft colleagues.

See testimonials for more information.

Data Platforms

While at Phunware, I shaped the evolution of our data platform using cutting edge technology including a 1 billion mobile device knowledge graph and a data exchange for targeted advertising.

At Microsoft, I ran the Enterprise Data Warehouse program and managed a $50M budget for data platforms that ran the company.

Data Science

As a data scientist at Microsoft, I used data to optimize customer support experiences using online experiments. This was an experience to measure the UX at scale and use data to objectively inform the product features we deployed into prod.

I earned a master’s degree in Data Science at UC Berkeley and won the top capstone project at graduation.

IT Operations

As an IT leader at Microsoft, I envisioned, built and operated data analytics platforms that were critical to operations across the company. I also led projects for the partner.microsoft.com platform that managed engagement with Microsoft’s global partner ecosystem.

Through running IT, I gained expertise in mission-critical systems to service a global user base.

Technology Consulting

At AspenTech, I ran a practice delivering software solutions to manufacturing clients. During this role, I led a team that developed the data platform for the largest chemical supply chain optimization solution.

Deploying products in the field reinforced how to use services to fill gaps in product-market fit and contribute ideas to the product team.

Software Engineering

I have hands-on experience developing software with Python, R, SQL, Java, .NET, HTML and JavaScript.

Experience as a developer has shaped how I articulate product requirements and collaborate with teams that build, test and support my products.

Personality / Behavior Types


ENTJ: Natural leaders and organization builders – conceptualize and theorize readily and translate possibilities into plans to achieve short-term and long-term objectives.

Source: Myers & Briggs Foundation

Extended DISC

C-Style: Analytical, detailed, exact, systematic, cautious, thorough, private, logical.

Source: Extended DISC


Type 3 – The Achiever: effective, competent, adaptable, goal-oriented, ambitious, organized, diplomatic, charming, into performance, and image-conscious.

Source: Discovering Your Personality Type by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

Philosophies and Ideas I believe in

Growth Mindset

Approach life by embracing the will to learn and grow by developing talents and abilities


My favorite ideas and book:

  • Learning to want and love the things we already have
  • Focus on what you can control
  • Negative visualization – all things everywhere are perishable
  • Embracing the reality that our days are numbered


Less is more.

The beauty of simplicity.

The freedom of having minimal belongings and dependencies.

Personal Motto

“Anything is possible – act on what you can control – focus and persistence turn dreams into results”


Unless otherwise noted the ideas and content of this website are the copyright and ownership of Graymatter Strategy LLC.


The content, views, and opinions on this website are those of James Gray and do not necessarily state or reflect those of his current or past employers.