December 15, 2022 – Global executive search and private equity advisory firm Renovata & Company has placed Jerry Haywood as chief executive officer for Boost.ai, a global leader in conversational artificial intelligence for Fortune 1000 companies. He will succeed founder and current CEO Lars Ropeid Selsås, who will give greater focus to product development and innovation. “Jerry has more than 20 years of enterprise technology experience and has held various sales and senior leadership positions at IBM, Cisco, and Salesforce,” said Thomas Jepsen, partner at Renovata & Company. “He’ll use these leadership skills to build upon the solid foundation Boost.ai has created over the past six years.”
“During this time of accelerated digital customer experience transformation, Boost.ai has never been better positioned to become a global category leader in conversational AI,” said Mr. Selsås, who was actively involved in the selection process, alongside co-founder and chief commercial officer Henry Vaage Iversen and chief operating officer Camilla Gjetvik. “This change in leadership is a natural step in the next growth phase for Boost.ai. Jerry is a strong and experienced visionary leader who can build on the solid foundation created over the last six years, and we are thrilled to have him join us. While it is his outstanding track record that made him a natural candidate for this key leadership role, it was his personality and people-oriented leadership style that impressed us most. He is approachable, humble, and full of energy. A natural leader who can create results while making it a fun ride.”
“I am very happy that Jerry has agreed to join the Boost.ai team as CEO and I’m glad that we are able to fulfil Lars’ desire to focus even more on what he is most passionate about – the technology needed to fundamentally disrupt the conversational AI category and to continue to provide the best automated customer interaction solution available on the market,” said Mr. Vaage Iversen.
Mr. Haywood was previously senior vice president, EMEA at LivePerson, a global technology company that develops conversational commerce and AI software—where he led the strategic repositioning and growth of the company in Europe. Prior to that, he spent eight years at Salesforce, where he headed up Service Cloud first in the U.K., and then for the rest of Europe, achieving an increase of more than 30 percent in revenue and bookings year after year.
“I am really excited and honored to join the Boost.ai team, at a time where the owners and leadership want to accelerate growth while positioning the company as a global category leader in the conversational AI space,” Mr. Haywood said. “Boost.ai is already very familiar to me. I have followed their amazing journey closely and I am convinced that the scale up has what it needs to go all the way. Boost.ai has the best technology available and an amazing team with some of the brightest minds in the industry. I want to thank the founders, the board of directors and Nordic Capital for their trust. I can’t wait to meet the team across the globe and get started.”
Boost.ai empowers enterprises to automate customer service and internal support channels, enhance human efficiency, and drive revenue with proprietary self-learning AI and a no-code solution that the company describes as quick to deploy, easy to learn and scalable. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, Boost.ai is backed by Nordic Capital and ready for exponential growth. The company has offices in Stavanger, Los Angeles, and Oslo—and more than 120 employees in 21 countries. Its clients include top organizations such as Nordea, Telenore, Santander, and DNB—which span multiple industries: financial services, telecommunications, E-commerce, healthcare, and the public sector.
Private Equity Search & Advisory Firm
Renovata & Company is a global executive search and private equity advisory firm. The firm partners with financial sponsors, their portfolio companies, and public corporations to deliver leaders and investment insights. The search firm’s executive recruiting activities are focused on search assignments covering board-level mandates, which include board directors, CEOs, CFOs, and other C-suite executives, as well as investment professionals and operating partners. The firm provides strategic counsel to clients across the technology, digital, business services, industrial, consumer, and retail sectors.
Mr. Jepsen is a co-founder of Renovata & Company. He has over 20 years’ experience in executive search across the SaaS, marketplace and B2C online spectrum. His focus is on working with the boards (founders and investors) of high growth businesses to attract the leadership talent that enable their companies to scale. In over a decade leading Renovata, Mr. Jepsen has worked with many of the leading B2B and B2C businesses across Europe.
Renovata & Company has relationships with over 50 of the top 100 private and growth equity firms globally. Its private equity advisory services include diligence support, backable executive introductions, and deal sourcing delivered by its affiliate, L Capital Advisors. The firm also makes equity co-investments alongside its private equity clients through its investment affiliate, L Capital. The search firm is privately held and operates from five offices across two continents: Boston, Hamburg, London, New York, and San Francisco.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media