On August 13, 2020, co-founder and CEO, Robert C. Johnson, handed the reins to Pete Khanna as the company’s new CEO. We sat down with Pete to welcome him to TeamSupport, get to know him a little better, and learn about his vision for the next chapter in our story. Here’s what we found out.
TS: Pete, let’s start with having you tell us about yourself, both your professional background and some personal tidbits.
Pete: Sure! I am a 25-year technology industry veteran. My specialty is in helping early stage high-growth tech companies become market leaders. I tend to gravitate to service type SaaS companies that provide valuable products and tools to enable our customers to solve problems and that provide meaningful impact on their businesses.
I’m from a small town in Wisconsin and went to University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I migrated to Colorado in 1994 at the tip of the rise of the software and technology industries—and then I caught the start-up bug! I like to think I get to know companies inside and out by doing a variety of jobs. But the CEO position is my favorite because it provides the opportunity to impact all areas of the business.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Lynne, and we live with our three boys in a town near Boulder, Colorado called Erie. We enjoy skiing and cheering for all of the Denver sports teams.
TS: What led you to TeamSupport and why were you attracted to this opportunity?
Pete: I look for companies that put the customer first, with the mindset, “There is nothing more important than our customers” informing everything you do. I want to know how you are engaging with your customers and how they are engaging with you. TeamSupport has a great culture and history of serving customers because it’s in our DNA. And our platform is having a huge impact on our customers and industries we serve. It allows us to have more meaningful relationships with our customers. This is exactly the kind of company I wanted to be a part of and help get to a point of being a true leader in the market.
Plus, there are some exciting new products currently in the works which I can’t wait to talk about. But I won’t spill the beans just yet!
TS: What does this transition in leadership mean to our customers?
Pete: Our core values of getting things done, operating as a team, and always doing the right things for each other and for our customers will remain strongly in place. We have to be accountable to our customers. We have to empower our employees. As a result, we want our customers to then feel empowered to give us the feedback and suggestions to help us be better and continue to develop products from a customer-centric point of view. Running a company like TeamSupport is a hands-on job. I look forward to engaging personally with each of our customers in the coming months.
TS: Having a change in leadership might create some apprehension with various stakeholder groups, which is heightened during a global pandemic and national economic crisis like we’re experiencing now. You assuming the role of our new CEO is a good thing, right?
Pete: Change is always hard, especially when it’s unexpected, and comes with uncertainty. But yes, this is a good thing! TeamSupport is a financially stable company with happy employees and strong customer relationships. This is a strategic change that will result in even more customer engagement, continuous product enhancements, innovative new products, and a leading position in the market. I plan to keep an eye on what made TeamSupport as successful as it’s been over the last 12 years, while adding even more value to our B2B clients.
TS: Would you like to help us say goodbye to Robert?
Pete: Robert’s contribution to TeamSupport and dedication to our clients has left an indelible footprint on the history of the company and inspired its future. His vision of redefining customer success as taking a holistic approach to managing the customer relationship with a focus on growing revenue will soon be introduced as an innovation in the B2B customer support industry. I look forward to interacting with Robert in his pivotal role as a member of our board of directors…and seeing him fly in an airshow one day!