Torch Group Finds CEO for ZoomInfo

Greg Selker, software & technology recruiting practice lead at Cleveland-based executive search firm Torch Group, joins Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss the placement of Derek Schoettle as the new leader of business information provider ZoomInfo. Let’s take a closer look at what made the former IBM executive the right fit for this top job.

August 1, 2018 – Following a national search, executive recruitment firm Torch Group has placed former IBM executive Derek Schoettle as the new CEO of ZoomInfo, a $100 million market leader in business-to-business contact and business information. The search was led by Greg Selker, software & technology recruiting practice lead of Torch Group.

“Given ZoomInfo’s product evolution our search strategy was to identify current or past CEOs of software companies with strong data plays that had driven fast growth either prior to or post their acquisition or integration into a broader CRM suite and larger company,” Mr. Selker said. “Derek quickly rose to the top of a very select group of national candidates.”

Christopher Gaffney, managing director of private equity firm Great Hill Partners, said his firm selected Torch Group to conduct the search based on its consultative and detailed approach which stresses cultural fit. “When Great Hill Partners acquired ZoomInfo, we did so in partnership with ZoomInfo’s founder and CEO, Yonatan Stern, planning to recruit an enterprise-class successor CEO who has navigated these paths before,” he said. “When Torch presented Derek, his extensive background leading high growth technology organizations and large scale, complex platform businesses cemented for us that he is the right person for this role.”


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Mr. Schoettle joins ZoomInfo after a four-year run at IBM, where most recently he was the chief business officer and general manager of the Watson and Cloud Platform business. He was previously CEO of Cloudant, a database-as-a-service provider, and led the company through its acquisition by IBM. He has also held executive roles with Vertica Systems, acquired by HP, and Infocrossing and Intellireach, both acquired by Wipro.

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A Vetted Leader

“Derek is an outstanding executive carefully selected to be ZoomInfo’s next leader to expand the company’s product set and to accelerate ZoomInfo’s already impressive revenue growth,” said Mr. Gaffney.


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Mr. Gaffney said he has previously worked with Mr. Selker and Torch for C-level executive search assignments. “Their background and vetting work is the best in the business,” he said. “Derek Schoettle is an outstanding executive carefully selected to be ZoomInfo’s next leader to expand the company’s product set and to accelerate their already impressive revenue growth.”

Mr. Schoettle said he is excited about his new role. “I’ve spent the last 10 years of my career at the intersection of data analytics and artificial intelligence and I’m thrilled to be able to work on the industry’s best platform for business data,” he said. “ZoomInfo is one of the best kept secrets in the Boston tech market. The company has 8,000 clients, has experienced a staggering 250 percent increase in revenue over the last four years, and is growing at 50 percent quarter-over-quarter.”

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“This growth is just the beginning as the company evolves from a sales and marketing performance management product to an intelligent, dynamic customer engagement platform that gives companies a deep understanding of its customers and prospects,” he said.

ZoomInfo has traditionally sold sales teams’ access to its huge database of corporate emails and phone numbers. The company also is one of the dominant providers of contact information to the recruiting sector. “The goal now is to build out a variety of applications to help customers actually use that data effectively,” said Mr. Schoettle. “Such software tools could, for example, recommend which potential customers to call first based on earlier patterns of success selling a similar product.”

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Veteran Search Consultants

Headquartered in Cleveland, Torch Group is a retained executive search firm focused on securing C-level sales, marketing, product management and communication executives and their direct reports for companies in growth and/or in transition. The key industries and business sectors they serve include food & beverage, software & technology, building products & materials, and commercial & industrial manufacturing. Established in 1990, the firm has achieved over 30 percent annual growth for the last two years.


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Mr. Selker, who joined Torch Group via its acquisition Selker Leadership, serves as the firm’s senior vice president and leader of search operations. His decades long executive search career has spanned the software business, the hardware industry and information technology services, and has included leading the venture-capital and private-equity practices of CTPartners.

“Greg’s background and vetting work is the best in the business,” said Mr. Gaffney. “Every candidate is well researched and qualified. No duds.”

When several candidates rise to the top, he said Mr. Selker provides insights into their differences and zones in on which one is the best fit. “While you certainly expect your retained search partner to thoroughly understand the company, the drivers for the business and the particular set of skills and personality traits necessary for a successful placement, Greg takes it to whole new level,” said Mr. Gaffney.

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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

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