March 1, 2019 – Customers matter. It sounds simple. But these days, companies are coming to better accept and understand that concept and weave it into their strategic vision. So it is that businesses of all kinds are increasingly bringing aboard chief customer officers (CCO), the most effective of whom wield influence across an organization and into the C-suite. And though the titles can vary from place to place, the customer-drive mission of the role remains the same.
Recently, executive search firm Caldwell recruited Andrew Kahl as the new chief customer officer of Sailpoint Technology Holdings in Austin, TX. Managing partner Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor led the assignment.
In this role, Mr. Kahl will be responsible for driving the integrated customer experience for every SailPoint customer while continuing to enable and scale the company’s growing post-sale partner community. He will also oversee SailPoint’s customer success, professional services and support teams, globally.
“This appointment underscores our fierce commitment to our customers’ successful journey with SailPoint and is a critical step as we look to scale to thousands of customers,” said Mark McClain, co-founder and CEO of SailPoint. “In his role, Andrew will help us to maintain our relentless focus on driving the best-in-class customer experience our customers have come to expect from SailPoint. Customer success is in our lifeblood as an organization and I am confident that Andrew will make that his continued charter in his new role with us.”
Mr. Kahl brings a wealth of experience building and leading global customer-focused organizations and creating strategies that drive operational excellence and unique customer experiences. He most recently served as senior vice president and general manager of global customer success services at Juniper Networks. Prior to that, he spent over three years leading and transforming customer success delivery at NetApp. Mr. Kahl also co-founded and led CREDANT Technologies for 12 years before it was acquired by Dell.
SailPoint, the leader in enterprise identity governance, brings the “power of identity” to customers around the world. The company’s open identity platform gives organizations the ability to enter new markets, scale their workforces, embrace new technologies, innovate faster and compete on a global basis.
“SailPoint is built on a set of core values and a company culture that places a heavy emphasis on the success of its customers,” said Mr. Kahl. “I am thrilled to become the ‘voice of the customer’ on SailPoint’s executive team and look forward to building on that customer-centric culture to drive the best possible experience for all customers at SailPoint.”
Ms. Chatfield-Taylor is managing partner of Caldwell’s private equity and venture capital practice and a member of the technology, consumer, digital and media teams. She focuses on executive-level search for high-growth technology companies, with deep expertise in B2B SaaS, social, eCommerce, gaming and other transformative technologies. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor has completed more than 50 CEO searches as well as other CXO-level assignments for her clients, with a deep passion and expertise in helping to diversify VC and PE-backed company boards and leadership teams.
New Officer Level Roles
A handful of new C-suite titles have been cropping up at businesses around the globe, say leading search consultants. A recent report by Odgers Berndtson found that executives climbing the corporate ladder are in hot pursuit of titles that include the words “chief” and “officer.” Among them: chief happiness officer, chief privacy officer, chief people officer, chief digital officer, chief knowledge officer, chief customer officer, chief luminary officer, chief innovation officer and chief observance officer.
Kodak and Dell a few years ago appointed chief listeners; Facebook has chief privacy officers; Microsoft has a chief people officer; Coca-Cola has a chief quality and product integrity officer. Steve Jobs called himself chief know-all.
Here is an overview of unique officer-level positions being filled by leading recruitment firms from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
The Onstott Group placed Christina Van Houten as chief strategy officer of Mimecast Limited. Managing director Scott Tucker led the assignment. Ms. Van Houten is charged with driving corporate development, product management and market strategy as part of building out Mimecast’s email security, archive and cyber resilience cloud platform.
Beverly Hills, CA-based executive recruitment firm Ventura Partners has placed Courtney Gruber as the new chief retail officer for drybar, a blowout hair salon chain. Ventura founder and partner Julie Ford led the search. The chief retail officer role, more commonly known as vice president of retail, encompasses running all retail operations.
Higher Education Leadership Search has been selected by the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to lead in its search for a chief compliance officer. Consultants Geralyn Franklin and Alan Medders are leading the assignment. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is a general academic university of the University of Texas System.
Freehold, NJ-based Prodigy Sports, a nationwide leader in top-level sports recruiting, has placed Gord Lang as chief growth officer with Engine Shop. Founder and chief executive officer Scott Carmichael led the search. Mr. Lang had been chief growth officer at Octagon Marketing, which he joined in 2001.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media