When Huddle won its $51 million round of funding last month, its co-founder and CEO Alastair Mitchell told us the enterprise content collaboration startup would use its newly acquired cash to build out the US market (Huddle was born in the UK, and as many as 60 percent of its customers are there) as well as to amp-up its sales, marketing and product teams so it could create even more success (than it's already enjoying).
What he didn’t mention, and perhaps the decision had not yet been made, is that the company would also be hiring a new CEO: in other words, his replacement. But it doesn’t seem as though Huddle’s investors or board asked Mitchell to step aside. Instead he said that as the company planned for the next stage of its growth, it was important for them to identify and hire a proven leader who “understood the subtleties of cloud technology and how to bring it to market at scale.” Mitchell will take on the roles of President and CMO.
The man who is now tasked with that job is tech exec Morten Brogger, who will be moving from Luxembourg to San Francisco to take on the challenge.
Couldn’t Huddle find someone who was a little more local, the headhunter in me had to ask. After all, it’s not as if there’s a lack of tried and tested startup leaders in Silicon Valley.
Brogger didn’t dodge my question. Instead he suggested, mostly in jest, that his charm or his confidence might have won him the gig. He then more seriously noted that his experience and track record make him right for Huddle. As the CEO of MACH, Brogger brought new cloud services to market, accelerated business into adjacent markets and achieved the highest customer and employee satisfaction in the history of the company. He later oversaw the sale of MACH to Syniverse in 2013 for $715 million.
But that’s not all Brogger brings to the table. There’s also his international and globalization experience. Consider that MACH operated in more than 130 countries and that most of Huddle’s clients are in two, the United Kingdom and United States (though many of them are global enterprises).
Getting His Feet Wet
While Huddle didn’t officially announce Brogger’s hire until today, the reality is that he’s been on the job for a few weeks. He has spent time meeting with customers and Huddle employees as well as thinking about how to better processes that are currently in place for sales, product marketing, product development and innovation.
“Huddle already leads the market in secure Enterprise Content Collaboration,” said Brogger. The challenge now, he said, is to win market share faster than wannabe’s Box and SharePoint /Microsoft can.
“We have an advantage,” he added. “We were born for secure content collaboration in the cloud. We’re ready to fight for every customer and win our fair share.”