Leading With Integrity: Quova’s Marie Alexander Quova Inc. is an Internet geo-location company…

Leading With Integrity: Quova’s Marie Alexander

Quova Inc. is an Internet geo-location company founded in 1999 and headquartered in Mountain View, California. Quova’s expertise lies in enabling online businesses to instantly identify where a visitor to their website is geographically located. Online companies, including broadcasters, e-retailers, and banks, integrate Quova’s geo-location data into their web applications to target advertising, detect fraud, and comply with local laws. Quova provides detailed demographic and other data with accuracy of 99.9 percent at the country level and up to 98.2 percent accuracy at the state level. Quova was a privately held company with 70 employees before being acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary of Neustar, Inc. in October, 2010. Quova has worked with some impressive companies such as BBC Worldwide and Continental Airlines. Such a fast-paced, leading-edge organization, competing in a dynamic and creative environment, requires strong leadership. Meet Marie Alexander, president and chief executive offi – cer of Quova Inc. Marie has a diverse academic background, including multiple degrees in business administration and music therapy, as well as a plethora of experience, ranging from amusement park management to working in mental institutions. At fi rst glance, Ms. Alexander may appear to be an unusual choice for effective leadership at Quova. However, in Marie’s opinion, her various experiences and unique educational background have shaped her leadership style and make her the optimal choice to successfully lead Quova in a dynamic and ever-changing competitive environment. A recognized expert in Internet geo-location, Marie Alexander believes that leadership is behavioural. She practises a form of “hands-under” leadership—a nurturing style that helps followers understand and reach their potential by “lifting and catching” them. Ms. Alexander, who believes in leading with compassion, interprets confl ict among subordinates with a unique perspective. According to Marie, confl ict is a positive aspect of organizational behaviour and demonstrates organizational growth. Without confl ict, passive aggressiveness could prevail and silently, but certainly, destroy an organization.



1. What is the difference between leadership and management?

2. What are the eight traits associated with effective leadership?


3. Marie Alexander believes that leadership is behavioural. How are behavioural theories of leadership different from trait theories? Of the three leadership styles from the University of Iowa studies, would you consider Marie Alexander to be an autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire leader?

4. How is Marie Alexander’s form of “hands-under” leadership consistent with path-goal theory? Practise

5. Suppose that a major security leak in Quova’s systems were to be discovered such that site visitors could be located and subsequently targeted by criminals. How might Marie Alexander publicly lead this company to preserve the support and confidence of investors, customers, and other key stakeholders?


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