Industry heavyweight Ron Verni lands at a field service management company, with a mandate to create growth.
Posted Feb 5, 2008
Corrigo, a provider of software solutions for on-demand service management and dispatch, maintenance management, and employee time-tracking, has tracked down its new leader. Today, the venture-backed company named former Sage Software North America chief executive officer Ron Verni as its new CEO, replacing founder Rick Michaux, who remains chairman and chief strategy officer.
"Field service management, especially software-as-a-service, is something whose time has only recently come," Michaux says. "We began the process earlier this year to identify a new chief executive who had the entrepreneurial fiber and proven ability to grow a business. Ron's experience and track record convinced me that he was the one to continue building Corrigo as a leader."
The track record Michaux indicates includes a string of businesses that achieved noteworthy growth. At Sage Software, Verni stated a goal -- once considered dubious -- of growing the company from $160 million in revenue to $1 billion. Sage hit that mark in 2007. During his tenure, the division also went from 1,000 employees to over 5,000, and from 1 million business customers to over 2.5 million.
Prior to Sage, Verni was president and CEO of Peachtree Software, and led the company's absorption into Sage Group, Sage Software's parent company in the U.K. His other top-dog jobs include president and CEO of NEBS Software, and founder and CEO of ASTEC Software. Verni also was a vice president of marketing with Automatic Data Processing.
"I've always thought of myself as a builder," Verni says. "At Sage, we had to get big because we had some very serious competitors, and we hit $1 billion [in annual revenue] ahead of plan. I wanted to find a smaller company with a large potential for growth, and I found it in Corrigo." Verni notes that Corrigo has more than 14 million potential users -- the number of field service workers as well as the people who interface directly with them -- and that the company's "main competitor is triplicate forms on clipboards."
Verni has certainly succeeded in his hunt for a company smaller than Sage was when he came aboard after the Peachtree acquisition there. Wilsonville, Ore.-based Corrigo, founded in 1999, booked just $6.4 million in 2007 revenue, according to estimates by industry research firm Hoover's, and a Corrigo spokesperson declined to comment on whether the company was cash-flow positive. The venture firms backing the company include Sierra Ventures, Asset Management Company, and Sycamore Ventures.
Sage's version of the circumstances of Verni's departure, as reported in October 2007, is not quite as cheery: At the time, Sage cited disappointing financial performance as the reason Verni and CFO Jim Eckstaedt left the company; the North America division grew 4 percent that year, the weakest performance among Sage's regional divisions.
Whatever the reason, now is a time for looking forward at Corrigo. "My first move will be to articulate the vision and strategy for this company," Verni says. "It's there -- Corrigo has been around a long time, and has great depth of knowledge and an understanding of its customers and market -- but it's ready to go to the next level."
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