Feb 2, 2018

Read Time 8 min

ChurnZero’s 10 Customer Success Leaders to Watch 2018


At ChurnZero, our mission is to create the next great Customer Success platform – and Customer Success teams sit at the heart of this goal.

Since the field of Customer Success hasn’t fully matured yet, we feel it’s key to learn from leaders in the industry. There are Customer Success leaders out there who are always looking at things a little differently, who are ahead of the curve and who are continually learning and pushing innovation. Those are the ones we should all keep an eye on as we look to advance the field.

To help we’ve curated this watchlist of Customer Success leaders who we believe you’ll gain some inspiration from and see them do great things in 2018.

Francis Cordón, Chief Customer Officer, Rigor

Francis Cordón is the CCO at Rigor, a leading provider of Digital Experience Monitoring solutions. In his role he leads customer strategy and execution, ensuring all departments contribute to delivering world class service and a unified experience across the entire customer journey.

In September 2017 Rigor achieved its largest new logo quarter in company history. With that, Francis will lead all technical, customer-facing teams, such as pre-sales engineering, professional services, technical support, and ongoing client success focused on creating a smooth, positive, and valuable customer experience.

“I am passionate about establishing a results-oriented, industry-recognized performance practice. This will help organizations evolve and achieve clearly documented levels of ROI by eliminating outages and improving application performance.” Francis commented.

Check out what Francis has to say about building a customer first culture. You can also find him on LinkedIn.

Dave Giles, SVP of Customer Success, Bomgar

Dave is the Senior Vice President of Customer Success responsible for making sure customers are wildly successful with Bomgar’s solutions. Dave manages Bomgar’s worldwide Professional Services, Education, and Technical Support organizations, and ensures customer needs are at the center of all initiatives and activities across the organization.

He brings more than 25 years of experience in product development, product management and marketing, and customer advocacy to Bomgar. Previously, he led product management and marketing for BMC Software’s service management portfolio and served as a corporate customer advocate for Numara Software.

“I’m thrilled to help lead the Bomgar team in providing a superior and cohesive experience for our customers throughout their entire lifecycle,” said Giles. “Bomgar has established outstanding relationships with its customer base over the years by developing products that IT and security professionals love and treating customers with respect and care.”

You can follow Dave on LinkedIn.

Chris Haggis, Senior Vice President of Customer Success, NewVoiceMedia

Chris is the SVP at NewVoiceMedia, a leading global provider of cloud contact center and inside sales technology that enables businesses to have more successful conversations. Based in the UK, Chris has the global responsibility for their customer success and professional services functions.

He brings two decades of engineering experience to the role, including more than five years at NewVoiceMedia, joining to establish the company’s global functions for sales, engineering, professional services, and most recently, customer success managers. Prior to that, he served as head of E2E engineering at Barclays and services director at Datapoint.

Dennis Fois, president and COO at NewVoiceMedia, commented, “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Chris to this role and congratulate him on his well-deserved promotion. This is a great example of career progression at the company and an important leadership role which will ensure we are truly customer-centric in our delivery and support functions, enabling us to continue our rapid international growth with our customers at the very heart of everything we do.”

You can follow Chris on twitter @haggisgang and on LinkedIn.

Kelly Hall, Chief Customer Officer, Vision Critical

Kelly Hall is the Chief Customer Officer responsible for leading their Customer Success organization at Vision Critical, which is a customer relationship software company. She joined Vision Critical with more than 14 years experience in driving customer experience programs, delivering successful initiatives and aligning departmental silos around the voice of customers.

Kelly was previously the Sr. Director of SaaS Delivery and Customer Success at BMC Software where she led cloud offerings for the company. She has also held leadership roles at CA Technologies and Protiviti.

“One of the core values at Vision Critical is that people matter – it’s something that speaks to the heart of both our product and the way we operate the company,” said Scott Miller, CEO of Vision Critical. “Adding Kelly to our executive team provides us with a strong customer advocate to help ensure our customers’ voices and experiences remain a key focus in our decision-making as we continue to grow.”

Check out this Q&A with Kelley on the Vision Critical blog about putting customers at the heart of your strategy. You can also follow Kelly on Twitter @kellymcmahonhal and on LinkedIn.

Julie Hogan, VP of Customer Success and Services, Drift

Julie joined Drift as their first Customer Success executive to help businesses make the shift to Conversational Marketing. Over 50,000 businesses use Drift today to provide a modern buying experience for potential customers and shrink the sales cycle from weeks to days. Hogan came to Drift from HubSpot where she served as VP of Customer Success Management and International Services and managed $24M in recurring revenue. She also led the strategy and execution of all global expansion at HubSpot’s Services organization and was responsible for building, developing, and leading those teams in Dublin, Sydney, Singapore, Latin America, Japan, and Germany.

Learn first-hand from Julie- Four Keys to Creating a 6-Star Customer Experience. You can also follow her on Twitter @jalicedev and on LinkedIn.

Charna Parkey, VP Customer Success Engineering, Textio

Charna is the VP of Customer Success Technology at Textio, the world’s first augmented writing platform, where her and her team make sure that Textio enterprise customers get measurable and significant results from their use of their platform by attracting more qualified and more diverse applicants faster through more effective job postings.

She started at Textio as a Sr. Software Engineer as employee #6 but quickly transitioned to a leadership role and began building out the company’s fast-growing Customer Success Engineering discipline. She works directly with small startups and Fortune 100 companies helping them use Textio to measure and correct for unconscious bias where it begins in the language of their hiring and recruiting documents.

Check out this blog post to read how she engineers customer success. You can also follow her on Twitter @CharnaParkey and on LinkedIn.

David Reiling, Chief Customer Officer, Syncron

David is the CCO at Syncron a provider of cloud-based after-sales service solutions for manufacturers. David leads the company’s global Customer Success organization, helping sophisticated after-sales service organizations increase financial performance and deliver superior customer experiences.

David has nearly 30 years of experience leading customer success organizations at leading SaaS companies. Prior to joining Syncron, he was the VP of Global Customer Success at Zuora and spent several years at PTC in various executive roles, helping establish the Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) business. He also served as Executive Vice President for North Highland, where his prime responsibility was to run and grow the international business.

“David not only brings a wealth of experience leading customer success organizations, but also a powerful vision,” said Anders, Grudén, CEO of Syncron. “Customer success is at the core of Syncron’s culture, and David [plays] a key role as Syncron continues to help the world’s leading manufactures be more successful in their after-sales service organization. He is an established leader in the space and I am thrilled to have him [on] the Syncron leadership team.”

You can follow David on Twitter @SyncronCCO and on LinkedIn.

Mark Riggs, Chief Customer Officer, Coupa Software

Mark Riggs joined Coupa Software as their first Chief Customer Officer (CCO) to help scale the customer success function, foster long-term customer relationships and maximize customers’ lifetime value. With more than 25 years of experience, Mark has a consistent track record of creating and scaling customer facing-teams across organizations while delivering optimal success to internal and external stakeholders. Prior to joining Coupa he worked as the Chief Customer Officer and General Manager for Bazaarvoice during a period of rapid revenue growth and was also part of the team that lead the company through their IPO.

At Coupa, Mark champions, orchestrates, and advances the customer experience across their ever-more-complex range of customer interactions. His role includes evangelizing customer-centric initiatives and strategy as well as creating and driving experiences that best deliver value for their customers and partners while differentiating Coupa.

“Mark has a proven track record and the practical know-how for building enterprise programs that ensure long-term customer success at every stage of their journey – from contract through renewal,” said Rob Bernshteyn, CEO at Coupa. “We believe that Mark is the right leader to help take our customer success function to the next level at this stage of our growth.”

You can follow Mark on LinkedIn.

Kimberly Simms, SVP of Customer Success, HireVue

Kimberly leads HireVue’s global Customer Success team who serves more than 600 companies worldwide, with clients such as Unilever, Vodafone, Dr. Pepper and Goldman Sachs. Her goal is to ensure their clients are leveraging HireVue’s video intelligence solutions to their fullest potential. Simms brought a wealth of customer experience to HireVue, most recently serving as VP at Anaplan, where she led a large team spearheading customer success initiatives company-wide. And prior to that she was with IBM, where she supported and led the delivery of IBM’s analytics solutions, while driving product adoption and delivery success amongst new customers. Simms has been recognized for executing outstanding client satisfaction by both her clients and her peers in the industry.

“Customer Success is defined by deep knowledge of our space and our solutions, but even more so by a profound understanding of the challenges and objectives of our customers today,” commented Simms. “HireView’s customer results are unparalleled in our category, and our team is relentless about our customer’s experience, adoption and success as the company’s solutions – and reach – grow around the globe.”

You can find Kimberly on LinkedIn.

Matthew Zilli, Chief Customer Officer, Marketo

Matthew Zilli was promoted to the role of Chief Customer Officer (CCO) in October 2017, and now sits on Marketo’s executive team, reporting into the CEO. Matthew has been with Marketo for more than four years, most recently serving as interim CMO and group Vice President of Product and Solution Marketing. Under Zilli, the marketing team launched numerous updates and enhancements to the Marketo Engagement Platform, including ContentAI, the company’s artificial intelligence-driven predictive content solution. As CCO, Zilli will oversee Customer Success and Global Enablement, leveraging his in-depth knowledge of the Marketo product and customer base to create value for customers. Before joining the company in 2013, Matt helped launch LineStream Technologies as the Vice President of Marketing. Previously, he spent time at Texas Instruments and Rovi Corporation, where he held positions in sales, marketing, business development, and product management.

“Matt has guided Marketo’s marketing team during a time of change and growth, and his leadership has been truly indispensable,” said CEO, Steve Lucas“I am so pleased to have him join my executive team permanently as our CCO. As a dedicated advocate for the Marketing Nation, Matt will create a whole new focus on Marketo’s most important asset, our customers.

Keep tabs on Matthew’s posts on the Marketo blog here, and follow him on Twitter @mattzilli and on LinkedIn.

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