Kingsley Gate Taps New CEO for PrecisionHawk

January 31, 2017 – Executive search firm Kingsley Gate Partners has placed Michael Chasen as chief executive officer of PrecisionHawk in Raleigh, NC. Mr. Chasen will report to the board of directors and will also hold a seat on the board. Bill Trau, senior partner at Kingsley Gate Partners, led the assignment.

As a serial entrepreneur and veteran technology leader, Mr. Chasen brings more than 20 years of software experience to accelerate PrecisionHawk’s rapid growth in the commercial drone market.

Prior to joining PrecisionHawk, Mr. Chasen served as CEO and co-founder of SocialRadar, a company focused on the mobile location services space. He also co-founded Blackboard Inc. in 1997 and led the company as CEO for 15 years, taking it through an IPO as well as the acquisition of over 22 competitors and add-on technologies. He sold Blackboard to Providence Equity Partners for $1.7 billion in 2011. Mr. Chasen is also an investor and advisor to several start-up ventures and mature companies across the technology spectrum.

“Michael is a talented and experienced CEO with remarkable success in architecting and scaling a technology platform,” said Bob Young, PrecisionHawk chairman and former CEO.  “Under his leadership, PrecisionHawk is well positioned to expand its technology offerings and optimize the integration of its platform into the existing business processes of its clients.”

Transcendent Moment

“Michael is an ideal fit for the CEO role at PrecisionHawk,” said Mr. Trau. “He brings the right blend of disruptive technology experience, fundraising and ability to forge a company culture. His expertise in building companies from start-up and early stage will be a significant benefit for PrecisonHawk as they continue to scale. Kingsley Gate Partners is very proud to have partnered with PrecisionHawk on this search.”

Ken Green, member of the CEO search committee for PrecisionHawk, said: “We all believe that the hiring of Michael has the potential to be a transcendent moment in PrecisionHawk’s evolution.”


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“Adoption of drone technology among major industries is growing at an incredible rate. By engineering an ecosystem that allows companies to gain valuable information, PrecisionHawk is at the forefront of one of the most important areas of technology innovation,” said Mr. Chasen. “The PrecisionHawk team has all of the building blocks that are required to become the world leader in commercial drone technology, and I am looking forward to the growth and immense opportunity ahead.”

Recruiting for Private Equity Concerns

PrecisionHawk was founded in 2011 and is an information delivery company that combines unmanned aerial systems, remote sensing technologies and advanced data analytics to improve business operations and day-to-day decision making. The company brings value to an emerging market by offering an end-to-end solution for aerial data gathering, processing and analysis to provide actionable information across a wide range of data-intensive civilian industries.

Founded in 2006, Kingsley Gate recruits senior leadership positions for private equity and venture capital portfolio businesses and Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Dallas, the firm employs consultants and recruiters with expertise in private equity, life sciences, technology, manufacturing and professional services.

This past fall, Kingsley Gate named Geoff Hall as a partner to support the firm’s growing life sciences practice. Mr. Hall is based out of the firm’s newly opened Denver office. He has more than 17 years of unique and differentiated expertise in leading cross-functional teams across sales, marketing, operations, legal, finance, quality and engineering, and works alongside Buster Houchins, founding partner and senior partner, office of the CEO, to expand the life sciences practice to serve its growing base of clients. Mr. Houchins, like many of the Kingsley Gate partners, are former CTPartners recruiters.

The firm also recently appointed Kirk Durossette as vice president of recruiting. He manages worldwide recruiting activities — from setting strategic direction and standard operating procedures to overseeing consultant training and auditing performance. Mr. Durossette served as a principal and executive search consultant for DHR International.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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