In March of this year, Snagajob, an online job search and software company based in Henrico County, announced that its founder, Shawn Boyer, would step down from his role as CEO. His replacement? Tech industry veteran Peter Harrison, former chief executive of McLean-based software and research development company GlobalLogic.
The move will allow Boyer to successfully transition to his new role as chairman, in which he will focus on strategy and long-term business development for the company. Harrison’s résumé is impressive and displays a knack for transitioning startup ventures into global firms. With that said, we wondered what attracted him to the ultra-hip company located in the Innsbrook office park.
"I love the idea of a business like Snagajob that helps people advance themselves," Harrison told us recently. "There's a lot of personal pride in knowing what you're doing has a direct impact on millions of people. At the same time, Snagajob is already a market leader in this space and is on pace for tremendous future growth. Being able to take an already established, successful business and grow it to the next level is very exciting."
'Snagajob is already a market leader... and is on pace for tremendous future growth.' - Peter Harrison, CEO, Snagajob
It’s natural for a new CEO to size up the situation he or she is walking into. For Harrison, it was Snagajob’s people that he found to be one of the company’s greatest assets. "Snagajob has countless assets that have allowed the company to grow to where we are today," he said. "But behind all our great products and solutions are people.
Snagajob has a tremendous team of smart and passionate people working hard to innovate and deliver better solutions for our customers. Snagajob's culture has been recognized as one of the best in the nation, and I truly believe that it's that culture and our people that have enabled Snagajob to grow to the company it is today."
Partnership Development & Expanding into Mobile Technology
"One of the key opportunities I see for Snagajob in the short term is the development of partnerships that will deliver a 'they win, we win' relationship," said Harrison. "Snagajob touches so many aspects of the employment marketplace. There are countless partners that offer a mutually-beneficial relationship, and I plan on digging in on this front this year." Another opportunity Harrison has observed is in the mobile marketplace.
He explained, "Right now, Snagajob really has the hourly employment marketplace cornered, but we've seen tremendous increase in our mobile traffic over the past year, and this is both a threat and an opportunity. A threat because mobile is harder to monetize. An opportunity because the field is wide open and we have a commanding lead."
Peter Harrison: Seasoned Executive
Harrison is a UK native, a globetrotter with a passion for adventure, and a seasoned software executive whose track record reads like a fantasy spreadsheet: "sales up 5,600%," "employee count up 30,000%," "startup revenues of more than $120 million." From programmer, to senior consultant, to sales, to CEO, Harrison’s path has never veered far away from technology. His ability to prime privately held companies for public purchase is an obvious skill (Versata in 2000, Seer Technologies 1995), so one wonders if Snagajob could be positioning itself for public trade.
Snagajob CEO Peter Harrison
- United Kingdom native
- Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Software Engineering), Birmingham University, UK
- CEO, GlobalLogic (grew employee base from 20 to 6,000+)
- SVP of Field Operations, Versata (grew revenues from $1 million to $56 million)
- Co-Founder/VP Sales, Seer Technologies (grew revenues to $120 million)
Senior analyst Randy Reece of Nashville investment firm Avondale Partners was interviewed for a recent Richmond BizSense story on Snagajob and said that a private firm must show substantial growth in revenue—potentially 15 to 20 percent—in the years before a planned IPO. "It’s only going to be possible if the company is achieving very strong growth," Reece said. "We don’t know exactly how fast Snagajob is growing.
We do know they have succeeded in winning relationships with a significant number of companies that hire a lot of hourly employees in retail-oriented industries and restaurants. I think that’s a strong positive." Reece’s conclusion? A sale of Snagajob is more likely than an IPO, and potential buyers could include online job search giants Monster and CareerBuilder.
Snagajob currently employs approximately 250. With a new CEO at the helm and a chairman focused on long-term strategy, the company’s evolution will be watched by many. As for Harrison, his near future includes a commute from Washington, D.C. each week. He explains, "I don't have plans to permanently relocate to Richmond. I'm currently working from our Richmond office four days a week and don't see this changing in the near term.
I have to say I've been blown away by the warmth and hospitality of the people here. Having lived for 12 years in D.C., the difference is striking." Peter Harrison isn’t the only executive who’s found Henrico County attractive. Check out our story on Henrico’s International Attraction. And to learn more about Henrico County or to discover why so many businesses call Henrico home, visit Henrico.com today.
About Snagajob: "America’s Largest Hourly Network for Job Seekers and Employers"
The business model for the Henrico-based company was hatched in 1999, when owner Shawn Boyer discovered there wasn’t an online resource for people looking for hourly employment. In 2000, he left his career as a lawyer and later grew Snagajob to more than 200 employees and millions of dollars in annual revenue. In 2009, the company expanded into software development, designing talent management systems for employers. The positive culture at Snagajob is well known and has no doubt contributed to the company being recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s "Best Places to Work for in America" (five times, to be exact). To learn more about the company, visit http://www.snagajob.com.