Involver co-founders turn it over to a software vet

John Shinal · September 7, 2011 · Short URL:

ex-Webroot exec Don Beck replaces Rahim Fazal as CEO of Involver

Involver co-founder and CEO Rahim Fazal turned over the reins of the fast-growing social media marketing company on Tuesday to Internet software veteran Don Beck, formerly head of the global sales organization at security software-maker Webroot.

Fazal co-founded the company with Involver CTO Noah Horton in 2007. The San Francisco-based startup makes a software platform that allows other companies -- or anyone -- to create a marketing page on Facebook. Fazal said the software has been used to manage 1.2 billion individual fan relationships on the social network.

I spoke to Beck and Fazal by phone on Sept. 6.

"We've had explosive growth this year," said Fazal, who said the company's trailing six months revenue rose 400 percent versus this year from a year ago, and that annual sales growth for all of 2011 is expected to be between 250 and 300 percent.

The company has 500,000 customers and more than 100 employees, and will be closer to 200 workers by year's end, Fazal told me previously, in this interview:

Still faster growth?

"When we looked at how to grow this company even faster, I realized that if I could get Don to come on board, there was a good chance it could happen," said Fazal, a Vancouver, BC, native who is a three-time entrepreneur at age 28. He sold his first company for $1 million -- when he was still in high school.

Fazal and Beck were put together six months ago by a recruiter from the headhunting firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

Beck had been at Webroot since 2009, selling SaaS packages to enterprise customers. Before that, he joined Postini when it was a $40 million company by sales and stayed long enough to help double revenue. Postini was bought by Google in 2007 for $625 million. In his pre-startup days, he worked at Adobe and IBM.

"I think this is a bigger market opportunity" than Postini, Beck said of Involver's business. The company has 500,000 customers, Fazal said.

Beck said former boss and Webroot CEO wasn't happy that he left just 30 days before a big new product launch.

"I had to remind him what I told him when I joined, that I wanted to learn the finer points of being a CEO. This is an important move for my career," Beck said.


Bonus link: you can read Rahim's blog post about turning over the CEO reins here:

Here's Beck's resume from Webroot's page:

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