Over the course of our nearly thirty-year history, we have partnered with many incredible founders and CEOs. Not surprisingly, as leaders of high growth software and data services companies, they have a lot in common and some invaluable insights to share with each other about building their businesses. It’s in this spirit that we host our annual CEO Summit, a gathering of current and former executives from across Spectrum’s portfolio.
This year, more than 60 CEOs, founders and board members joined us in the Bay Area. Executives traveled from more than 15 different cities across the US and Europe, illustrating our longstanding belief that extraordinary companies can be built just about anywhere in the world.
Similar to prior years, we called upon portfolio company executives and friends of the firm to share their candid perspectives on leadership and address many of the macro and operational challenges that are top of mind for CEOs in our portfolio today.
Photo: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Spectrum CFO Brian Regan; Dispatch Track Board Member and Spectrum Advisor Brian McAndrews, 1stDibs CEO David Rosenblatt, and Managing Director Ben Spero; Spectrum Equity portfolio company CEOs Tim Chi of TKWW and Russell Glass of Headspace Health with former Intercom CEO Karen Peacock and Spectrum’s Head of Talent Coley Florance.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, shared his insights on leadership, culture, managing through volatile economic cycles, stepping into the role at Uber, and strategic decisions he’s made to set the company up for success.
Two-time public company CEOs Brian McAndrews and David Rosenblatt shared the important lessons they learned from navigating through the dot com boom and market correction of the 2000s, and ultimately selling their competing companies to Microsoft and Google. As two of the more experienced CEOs and board members in the tech industry, they shared advice on leadership, team building, and board management.
Coley Florance, our Head of Talent, led a discussion with Karen Peacock, Former CEO of Intercom; Russell Glass, CEO of Headspace Health, and Tim Chi, CEO of The Knot Worldwide. The conversation focused on boosting employee engagement, leading with authenticity, and recognizing mental health as a new non-negotiable with employees.
We also welcomed new founders and CEOs to the Spectrum Equity portfolio, holding a special session for them to connect with our growing internal team of functional leaders across marketing (Dan Kimball), talent (Coley Florance), finance (Brian Regan), legal (Leah Palmer), tax (Carolina Picazo) and technology (Sanjay Tiwary). These functional leaders are incredibly valuable resources for our CEOs and their leadership teams, providing ongoing advisory support and strategic guidance to portfolio companies as they navigate new growth opportunities.
Photo: One of the best parts about our CEO Summit is spending time with other business leaders who are confronting similar challenges, so we make sure to build in lots of time for informal networking and fun.
We think there is tremendous value in building cross-portfolio connections, either through live events like our CEO Summit or through one-on-one dialogue. As we always say, whatever your challenge is – whether you’re building your leadership team, implementing a new pricing strategy, or pursuing growth through M&A and international expansion, for example – there are executives across Spectrum’s portfolio who have faced similar strategic decisions and will openly share their perspectives and hard-won lessons with you. This is one of many facets that make being a part of the Spectrum portfolio feel like a family – one that advocates for you and is your biggest supporter.
We’re so grateful to all the CEOs, board members, and colleagues who joined us again this year. We cannot wait for our next reunion!