Allison Pickens Named Chief Operating Officer Demonstrating C-Suite Pathway for Customer Success Leaders
[San Francisco – September 24, 2018] — Gainsight™, the Customer Success company, today announced several updates to its management team, including functional expansions and new senior leadership positions. Allison Pickens, previous Chief Customer Officer, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of Gainsight, retaining control of the company’s Customer Success function while adding Corporate Development and Business Operations to her scope. Karl Rumelhart, Gainsight’s Chief Product Officer will now also manage the company’s Research and Development (R&D) efforts, which represents over 250 engineers across global offices. Reporting to Rumelhart is a new addition to Gainsight, Maksim Ovsyannikov, who joins as Senior Vice President of Product and leads product management and design to help build and deliver the next generation of Gainsight solutions for the Customer Success industry.
“The increasing frequency of Chief Customer Officers expanding their scope to COO roles is a sign of the strategic value that Customer Success executives demonstrate across the entire organization,” said Nick Mehta, Chief Executive Officer at Gainsight. “I am thrilled to have Allison continue to carry the torch for our industry and help operationalize customer obsession across the entire business. I’m also extremely excited to have the highly coveted and innovative product leader, Maksim Ovsyannikov, join Gainsight and help us cement our position as the leading Customer Success platform. With all of these changes, the future is bright for Gainsight and I’m confident they will help us exceed our ambition and widen our lead in the Customer Success movement.”
Customer Success is the New Career Path to the C-Suite
The role of the Customer Success Manager (CSM) is one of the Most Promising Jobs in the United States and is quickly growing abroad. Gainsight expects the profession to continue growing well into the future as more companies adopt subscription-based business models. CSMs are becoming one of the most sought-after careers in business today, largely because the role requires them to have an extensive understanding of the business and its customers. They are also highly cross-functional as they engage with multiple internal departments to help achieve customers’ desired outcomes. This broad experience naturally grooms people in this field for higher-level leadership roles within the business – as demonstrated in the rise of the Chief Customer Officer role.
It’s a natural progression for a CCO to go from exclusively driving Customer Success to owning revenue and end-to-end operational responsibilities that are critical to the company and its customers’ success. Gainsight manifested this trend with the appointment of Allison Pickens to Chief Operating Officer. In her new role, Allison will be responsible for strategic planning, leading corporate development efforts, and driving initiatives aligned to corporate goals.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to help lead the company toward a new level of growth,” said Allison Pickens, Chief Operating Officer at Gainsight. “Along with Nick and the executive team, I’m focused on strategic and operational excellence throughout the organization and creating new business opportunities to ensure everything we do benefits the customer. I believe with greater alignment comes greater success for teammates, customers, and investors. I’m excited about all the possibilities ahead of us.”
Allison joined Gainsight in 2014 as Chief of Staff to the CEO, and held various roles within the company, from building the company’s first Sales Development team to leading Customer Success Managers to eventually leading the entire Customer Success organization. Allison helped build Gainsight’s post-sales functions, including a global team of more than 150 team members across Customer Success Management, Professional Services, Support, Business Operations, Customer Marketing, Value Consulting, and Customer Engineering.
Allison will continue to serve as Gainsight’s Chief Customer Officer as well until a successor is named.
Developments in the Product Organization
To increase collaboration and agility in Gainsight’s product development process, the company combined Development, Quality Assurance, Product Management, and Design teams into a unified delivery organization. The new structural organization will be led by Karl Rumelhart, Chief Product Officer. Karl has led Gainsight’s product management organization for nearly four years and has become the voice of the company’s product direction. The integrated approach aims to help the company accelerate progress toward its goals of Teammate Success for the Product team, Customer Success by delighting clients and Investor Success in terms of increased velocity and innovation on the Customer Success Platform.
“I look forward to optimizing our platform, continue defining and extending the core concepts of Customer Success, and delivering innovations and new products that help drive Gainsight’s mission.” – Karl Rumelhart, Chief Product Officer of Gainsight.
Gainsight also announced the addition of Maksim Ovsyannikov as the new Senior Vice President of Product, who will be responsible for all areas of Gainsight’s product management and product strategy. Maksim joins the company with nearly 20 years of product experience, with previous roles at Grovo, Zendesk, IBM, Totango, ADP, and Salesforce, and has a track record of building market leading products. Maksim holds a degree in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.
“Enabling customer success with technology is the next great area of innovation within B2B software, and I am looking forward to doubling down on an enhanced user experience and delivering a platform that puts customer success in everyone’s hands across the enterprise.” – Maksim Ovsyannikov, Senior Vice President of Product of Gainsight.
About Gainsight: Gainsight™ is the Customer Success platform helping businesses retain and grow customers. The industry-leading solution provides valuable customer insights and analytics through a centralized view of customer health, builds outcomes-driven customer journeys, and helps prove the impact of Customer Success organizations in business. Companies that use Gainsight grow net retention by up to 33 percent. Learn how leading companies like Adobe, Box, GE Digital and Workday use Gainsight to increase retention, expansion, and advocacy at www.gainsight.com.