Today marks a new chapter in Velocity Global’s history that I am excited to share with the world. Earlier this morning, I sent an email to our team indicating that I would be transitioning from CEO to my role as Chairman of the Board. With that change comes the appointment of Frank Calderoni as our CEO, who, in my opinion, is the best person to lead us into this next chapter. I have no doubt he will make an unprecedented impact on this industry and create opportunities for companies and people to work anywhere. The following is an excerpt from this morning’s letter:
When I started Velocity Global in 2014, I knew the world needed a better way to employ people globally. Nine years later, not only is that need still there, it’s more complex than ever. As companies look for new and innovative ways to diversify their workforce, the need for one platform to compliantly and consistently source and manage that workforce is absolutely critical. I firmly believe that we are positioned to lead through this period of acceleration and that the timing for a leader like Frank Calderoni - who I know will take us to the next level - couldn’t be better. The next few years of our company’s trajectory will be transformative. Having a proven and seasoned leader like Frank at the helm will not only firmly position us as the leader in this industry, it will accelerate our ability to scale across functions. I’m thrilled to transition the CEO responsibilities to Frank as I continue to support our big vision as Chairman of the Board.
On a more personal note, this is one of those moments in which what’s best for the company also happens to be what’s best for me and my family. My son is 14, and my daughter is 11. That means I have 4 and 7 years left at home with them, respectively. I know many of us at Velocity Global are caregivers in one way or another. I understand that many of you feel the pressure of juggling personal and professional lives. I felt that immensely over the last decade. I also know that I just made a point about the criticality of the next few years. But I hope that through my decision to transition my role, you know that there is nothing more important than your family, your health, and whatever it is that brings you joy. There’s a saying that goes - you can have it all, just not all at once. I take that to mean that at different points in our lives, we have competing priorities. Right now, my priority needs to shift to my wife and my children, who have asked me to be around more. And it is my hope that you feel empowered, supported, and inspired in times when your priorities might need to shift. In fact, I find myself incredibly blessed that I can remain with the company in a role that better allows me to accomplish both.
With that, I want to introduce you to the person that will take us to the moon. For those of you who may not be familiar with Frank’s story, he was most recently CEO of Anaplan - a company that mirrored ours very closely when he came on as CEO. A company with all the ingredients to be an industry leader but needed someone to drive scale and efficiency to maximize its impact on customers and the marketplace more broadly.
In just three years, he took the company from a $1B valuation to IPO. Three years after that, he sold the company for nearly $11B, the largest private software transaction to date. Those events required operational rigor, discipline, and scale. I should also note that Frank also served as the CFO of Cisco for a decade, working directly for John Chambers - so he really does know a thing or two about scale.
But the fact is that a lot of people have seen scale and operational rigor. What struck me about Frank was his ability to make those improvements with unparalleled dedication and passion for his employees. That’s tough to do. Look no further than the pages in his book, Upstanding (How Company Character Catalyzes Loyalty, Agility, and Hypergrowth). My favorite passage:
“Character is the North Star by which we steer our organizations, and it's the scorecard against which we are judged. Our stakeholders are listening attentively to what we say we are, and they're watching what we actually do. In short, they're constantly measuring our character.”
The future of this company excites me just as much today as it did almost 10 years ago. If you had told me then that one day we’d have more than 800 employees and thousands of clients, I wouldn’t have believed you. But if you told me that we also stand at the precipice of something WAY bigger and much more impactful, I would have said, “Where do I sign up!?”
I’m incredibly grateful for all your support through the years and through this transition. Together, we will take these next steps Boldly with Velocity, always carrying ourselves with Integrity, Empowering one another to achieve new heights, and, of course, being of Service to our clients, our supported employees, and one another. If I haven’t said it enough, I’ll say it one more time: I’m excited for this next phase of our growth, and our best days are ahead of us; I guarantee it. I hope you are, too.
Sincerely, Ben Wright