Two heads are better than one: introducing our co-CEOs
Glean Founder, and now co-CEO, Dave Tucker, shares some exciting new developments across the leadership team.3 min read Published: 26 Oct 2023
It’s been over seven years since my father officially retired and I took the title of CEO. Since then the company has firmly established itself in the North American market, reinvented itself with a new product and new name, and grown from a few dozen employees to over a hundred. The organisation today has become unrecognisable.
However, the reality was that when taking on the CEO title, my role did not substantially change. What did change were the responsibilities of my long-time friend and colleague, Dave Sankey, who took on the role of COO and Executive Director. We became a de facto executive team of two and since then we have run the company together.
Like all the best long-term partnerships there have been ups and downs but one thing that has always been true is the implicit trust that we have in each other’s commitment, intentions and values. I feel blessed to have that in a working relationship and it is one reason why Glean is the successful organisation it is today.
Another reason why this partnership has been so fruitful over many years is because we are such different people. I share many traits with your typical entrepreneur; creative, passionate, occasionally intense with a strong drive to make things happen even if they sound wildly ambitious. Dave on the other hand is discerning, organised, practical, empathetic and highly people-focussed. We balance and challenge each other. We are both equally hard working and committed to the long-term success of Glean. I have probably learnt more from Dave than anyone in my career.
One thing that we both firmly believe is that individuals are happiest and most impactful when they are able to play to their strengths. For this reason, last year we made the decision for Dave as COO to manage our leadership team so that I would have more capacity to do the things I could uniquely do for the organisation. This certainly helped, but was not sufficient.
Introducing our new leadership team
Today I’d like to announce the next step in the evolution of our partnership. We are now co-CEOs of Glean.
This does not mean that we have the same role or accountabilities. In fact, it is quite the opposite. With this change I will now have more time to spend on the things that I can uniquely do for the organisation; develop our long-term vision, communicate that vision externally and take part in conversations about the future of learning and Glean’s role within it.
Whereas I will be focussing on the external and the long term, Dave will be focussing on the internal and short-mid term. Dave will ensure Glean has organisational clarity, organisational health and that as an Executive Team, we do what we plan to do.
This may seem like an unusual setup to some, but it is not uncommon. Sometimes titles such as President and CEO, or Founder and MD are used to describe this dynamic. The title matters less than the roles, responsibilities and strength of partnership.
With this change also comes a newly formed Executive Team which I am genuinely very excited to be a part of. Our new Chief Operating Officer is Chrissie Leahy, who is moving from her position as VP of Sales and Marketing where she has been instrumental to our growth over the last few years. Both our new Chief Revenue Officer, Angus Chudleigh, and our new Chief Financial Officer, Colin Oakman, have been working at Glean for some time on a fractional basis but now join us as permanent employees and bring with them a wealth of experience in scaling technology businesses. Our Chief Product Officer, Teresa Rupp, joined us at the start of the year having spent the last decade working in EdTech. Finally, the newest member of the team is our Chief Technology Officer, Josh Nesbitt, who is well known and respected in the Leeds technology community.
There is much more to say about this team, which will follow in a blog post in the not too distant future.
I appreciate that this change may cause further confusion for many as we are both bearded men called Dave who now share the same job title, but every decision has its trade-offs and this was one we were willing to make. In practice, my title will be Founder and co-CEO and Dave will be co-CEO. I hope that helps differentiate us for everyone!
I have every confidence that in 7 years time we will reflect on this moment and similarly remark on how unrecognisable the organisation has become. The investment into our Executive team is one of many we are currently making in order to truly realise our vision to “unlock human potential by empowering individuals to learn confidently and effectively from content”. I’m proud of what we have achieved so far, but moreover, genuinely excited about what we are building together as an organisation for the future.
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