Tracx Inc., the social business management platform, announced today that Rick Rudman will take over as CEO from Eran Gilad. Rudman had been serving as Chairman of the Tracx Board and replaces Eran Gilad. In an interview last night, I spoke to Rudman about the reasons for this change.
"This is typical transition for many high-growth companies and we just raised a lot of capital from Edison Partners," notes Rudman. "The board decided to bring in a seasoned CEO to handle the next stage of growth."
Rudman is also the co-founder of Vocus, which was acquired by Cision last year. Rudman ran Vocus for twenty years, building it into a $200 million company by the time he left. Tracx is in a very competitive set of hot companies, including Sprinklr, the company founded by Ragy Thomas, Spredfast, based in Austin and headed up by Rod Favaron, and Hootsuite, which is moving up from SMB to enterprise companies. On the high end, major deals in SRM are well north of six figures, and attracting the attention of the digital services offerings of the larger consulting firms. So how does Rudman feel about the competition and potential growth in this sector?
"Social media is the fastest growing market segment within digital marketing. According to Forrester, it's expected to grow to $20 billion in spend by 2020," Rudman says. "The other thing, besides the budget, is the reason that they're getting bigger, the whole way that consumers are researching and buying products, and how they support products."
"We're going through the biggest transformation in business right now and social is the biggest part of that transformation." Rudman's optimistic that the market is still sufficiently fluid to give Tracx an open field.
"I have a slightly different view as to what the competitive environment is. Today, the amount of money being spent on social media is about $9 billion. If you look at the companies serving the industry, the total amount of market potential is around 10%," Rudman says. "Having lived through this with the PR and marketing space, a company having $70-$80 million is not a market leader."
"This is a continuation plan... not a crisis," Rudman says. "Eran did a great job taking the company this far, now we need to grow the company from the first stage into a $100 million company and the clear market leader."