Challenges in scaling a company: LogMeIn CEO, Bill Wagner

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Photo credit: Lafayette College

At the MassTLC Executive Forum on January 31st, five CEOs from Massachusetts growth companies will share the most important lessons that they have learned as leaders. Catch a sneak peek from LogMeIn President & CEO, Bill Wagner, below.

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Some of the greatest challenges that I have faced as CEO include:

Bill WagnerEnding LogMeIn Freemium—The market was undergoing technological disruption, unit economics were weakening, and growth was slowing. We ended freemium, increased the focus on pricing and packaging as a lever for growth, and used the revenue to invest in other areas. On the other hand, today we have more free users than at any time in our history, but through a different product in a rapidly growing market.

Acquisitions to expand into adjacent markets—For the most part LogMeIn was an organically built company, but when we recognized the need to expand into more forward-leaning growth markets, we felt “caught” between the choice of diverting resources away from existing projects or reducing our margins to ramp up new development teams. We used a series of acquisitions to give us a footprint in more forward-leaning markets.

Being an outsider—I came in from the outside, hired by the founder/CEO after the company had already gone public. Navigating the company and trying to drive impact was really hard.  There were many lessons learned (and some mistakes!) around how I was able to establish myself as a valuable leader and integrate with the management team and the broader company culture.

Scaling culture—LogMeIn was 400 people when I joined in 2013 and had a strong, innovative, founder-led culture. Today we are 4,000 people strong, but scaling culture is challenging.