Today I made one of the easiest, hardest, and most gratifying decisions in my 12-year career as founder and CEO of Demandbase. I named a new CEO to help take us to the next $100 million of growth! I am proud to share that seven-year veteran and chief revenue officer of Demandbase, Gabe Rogol, will take the helm and lead this next chapter in our growth.
This year we shattered the elusive $100 million mark that only 0.2% of venture-funded companies achieve. It has been an incredible accomplishment for me, Demandbase employees, our customers, and our investors. Along the way, we created a new technology category called ABM (account-based marketing), introduced incredible innovations helping customers realize 10x ROI on their investment, and built one of the best cultures and places to work that I have ever experienced in the 30+ years of my career.
Being named one of the Top 10 SaaS CEOs and MarTech Executive of the Year, or having the company win Best Places to Work in the Bay Area for five years – followed by Top 10 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor – are just a few of the accolades we have achieved. The most notable recognition, however, is having Demandbase named a Leader by Forrester in its New Wave report and highlighted as the top must-have ABM technology in a recent Forrester survey of 120 businesses practicing ABM. The accolades are the result of the tremendous work done by our 300 employees and customers that invested early in ABM, and the trust and commitment by our investors along the way. I view the achievement as one of the most pivotal times in our company history, and the ongoing coverage by a firm like Forrester is critical for the category moving forward.
Today, hundreds of the world’s largest and fastest-growing companies rely on Demandbase as their ABM platform of choice. Some invest $20,000 a year while others have expanded to $5 million a year, but all are achieving incredible results typically measured by increased sales pipeline. And I fully expect our customers’ success to increase in 2020 with a multitude of innovations slated for the weeks and months ahead. This has all been made possible through building a transparent culture with a clear vision enabling us to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook for top engineering talent. I also need to recognize the early commitment from our investor base (7+ years ago) for believing in me and enabling Demandbase to build the industry’s only ABM platform that includes a fully integrated B2B advertising engine. Fast forward to 2019; the AI-based technology dramatically outperforms any advertising technology developed for B2C. Just ask any of the largest adtech companies in the world who now rely on Demandbase for their B2B advertising.
Now on to the topic of the blog and my decision to step aside from the CEO role. First, let me underscore that it has been 12 years with so many great achievements. It has exceeded my expectations in every dimension. The next $100 million, however, will bring many new opportunities and require a focus on scale, and operational excellence. I’ve already noticed the demands pulling me away from product innovation, customers and building our culture, which are my three top passions. Thankfully, I have one of the best operating executives I have ever worked with sitting next to me as CRO, Gabe Rogol, so the decision to name him as CEO for our next chapter was quite easy. I hired Gabe seven years ago and have watched him deliver year after year – doubling sales productivity and building one of the most powerful sales machines I have ever seen (even better than GE back in the hey-day, which is saying something). As one of our Board members said, “I have never seen two executives with such complementary skills; this is going to be a great move for employees, customers, and our long-term growth.”
As Gabe takes the helm as CEO, I will move into a role as chief strategy officer (will always be the founder, too) and invest more time in innovation, working with customers and the ABM ecosystem, and developing our people/culture for the next stage of growth.
I am grateful to the Demandbase team, who have delivered so much success on a variety of dimensions. I also feel proud to have hired and helped develop Gabe, who is now a proven, trusted, and extremely capable leader ready for the challenge ahead. For those of you that know me, my career has been built on strong relationships, and my relationship with Gabe made this decision a no-brainer.
I’ll close by saying thank you to all the employees, customers, and investors that have made Demandbase such a success. We have hit dozens of incredible milestones and have so many more ahead. I look forward to working with Gabe to take us past $200 million and thousands of customers in the years to come!