There is nothing quite as challenging as being on a board that is going through significant change. The Market Leader story is a classic one of significant challenges and change that resulted in a successful ending for all involved. Market Leader was founded in 1999 by a real estate agent to build a business on internet leads for other agents. The company grew rapidly and went public but then faced the real estate market and financial crashes. The company saw its revenue and business model pummeled and had to reinvent itself under the watchful eye of Wall Street. All of this was accomplished by management and the board working together to rebuild the business model and then ultimately execute a successful sale in 2013.
Come and hear from Market Leader executives and a key board member about how the team worked with the board to navigate this difficult time, including how they reinvented the business model into an SaaS model, maintained employee motivation, and kept shareholders apprised of the plans.
Jackie Davidson has over 25 years’ experience as an operating executive and in the boardroom for several private and public companies in the Pacific NW. She’s been a key player on innovative leadership teams in SaaS tech businesses and in a variety of other industries and companies that were breaking ground in some way: bringing real estate agents online, manufacturing new starch applications for food production, bringing car dealers online, or building out a new fishery. Most recently, she was the CFO at Market Leader, which was sold to Trulia for six times the revenue. Her strategic experience spans high growth strategies, financings, and mergers and acquisitions. She currently serves on the board of BuildPulse and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Washington CPA Foundation. She also serves on the advisory board of ClientLinkt. She is an investor in Seattle Angel Fund, an NACD Governance Fellow, and a CPA. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, AICPA, and WSCPA.
Jon Gacek is currently EVP of Sales & Marketing at Veritone (Nasdaq: VERT). He served as president and chief executive of Quantum Corporation from April 2011 to November 2018. He joined Quantum as executive vice president and chief financial officer in August 2006 upon Quantum's acquisition of Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC) and was promoted to executive vice president, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer in June 2009. Previously, he served as the chief financial officer at ADIC from 1999 to 2006 and also led Operations during his last three years at ADIC. Prior to ADIC, Gacek was an audit partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and led the Technology Practice in the firm's Seattle office. In this role, he assisted several private equity investment firms with a number of mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and other transactions.
Ian Morris is the cofounder and CEO of Likewise, an exciting start-up that helps consumers quickly find the best recommendations from people they trust and build lasting relationships with those who share their passions. Before Likewise, he served as the president and CEO of Market Leader for more than a decade, establishing the company as the leading provider of SaaS solutions to the real estate industry with more than 150,000 enterprise and SMB customers. Under his leadership, Market Leader was ranked the fourth Fastest Growing Technology Company in North America from 1999-2004, leading to a successful IPO in 2004 and the sale of the company to Trulia in 2013 for $380 million. After receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School, Morris spent seven years at Microsoft where he led many of MSN’s early online marketing efforts and later served as the general manager of Microsoft HomeAdvisor, one of the nation’s first consumer real estate sites. He has also served as a board member and strategic advisor to a number of both public and private technology companies.
Liz Huebner was a member of the Blucora (Nasdaq: BCOR) Board of Directors from 2009 to 2017 where she chaired the Audit Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee and was a member of the Compensation Committee. She has spoken at numerous NACD events and attended the Stanford Directors’ College. Huebner has held numerous executive finance positions before retiring in 2006 and has expertise in accounting, acquisitions, investor relations, treasury management, and financial analysis. She was most recently the senior vice president and chief financial officer for Getty Images Inc. She joined Getty Images in 2000 and was responsible for all financial aspects of this NYSE company (now privately held). Prior to Getty Images, Huebner was the chief financial officer for Primus Knowledge Solutions Inc. where she played a key role in the 1999 initial public offering. She was also the chief financial officer for Fluke Corporation, an NYSE company, from 1996 to 1998. Huebner began her career at Arthur Andersen where she left as an audit manager and spent seven years with McCaw Cellular (ATTWireless) in a variety of senior financial positions.