On the heels of winning a place on Inc’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America list, I sat down with one of Koddi’s newest team members, Chad Baldwin, to discuss his new role as Vice President of Sales and Business Development, and his focus on further enabling the company’s growth in 2018 and beyond.
What does the Vice President of Sales and Business Development do at Koddi?
I’m focused on driving growth for Koddi. We have a tremendous foundation as a company: counting many of the top travel brands in the world as partners, a fantastic team, and deep marketing optimization technology. We have all the pillars needed to enable us to help so many more travel companies improve their digital marketing. Now it’s about sharing the Koddi story more broadly.
What are your top priorities for 2018?
Shoring up our systems to drive more growth at scale: teams, processes, technology all come into play here. The number one thing we can do is listen to our customers and solve their biggest challenges in digital marketing. We simply need to continue to accelerate profitable bookings for our customers. As a fast-growth company, we have new opportunities presented to us every week and out of the field of possibility, we are focused on continuing to accelerate our position as the leading travel marketing optimization solution in the world.
How has your past experience prepared to you to facilitate Koddi’s continued growth trajectory?
I have been in enterprise SaaS software for more than 20 years — with ten years of sales leadership experience and ten years of product management experience. I have been a key part of teams driving from $0 to more than $100M in annual run rate. This background has given me a strong sense of the strategy, tactics, systems, people and execution focus that is required to drive scale. As an example, I started Kenshoo U.S. back in 2008 and grew from one person (and a coffee cup) to lead a large sales force across the Americas. I understand and appreciate the importance of the team at the center.
Why did you decide to make the move to Koddi?
I have been watching Koddi for a number of years and really liked what George and Nicholas were doing. Not only from a growth perspective but more importantly from a people and culture perspective. Great companies start with great people and George and Nicholas, along with the team they’ve built, are top notch. Combine that with tremendous technology focused on a very complex travel optimization marketplace and you’ve got a winning combination.
Why do you believe that Koddi will win in the travel marketing space?
Koddi knows how to execute with quality. At the end of the day, it’s the most important thing in B2B enterprise software. One thing that is very impressive is that for a company that started five years ago and is now nearly 100 employees, Koddi has not taken any outside funding–unlike most software companies in the space. Our growth has been driven by providing great solutions to the market. We’re incredibly unique in this way and it says a lot about our ability to really listen to customers and build world-class solutions. Building great companies is a marathon. Koddi is a great athlete and we just need to keep focused and running.
Which Koddi office do you work from?
I’m on the West Coast office and evaluating spaces in Oakland and San Francisco. (Let me know if you’re a rockstar and looking to join a great company!) While I’m working remotely today, it’s not new for me. Kenshoo was headquartered in Tel Aviv and I got very used to early morning and late night calls to stay aligned and collaborate with the larger team. With Koddi’s headquarters being in Fort Worth, it’s a piece of cake comparatively. What’s nice is that Koddi has been built as a distributed company with offices in Ann Arbor, Austin, New York, and Düsseldorf. The culture and communications systems have been built for distributed teams: email, text, Slack, video conferencing, etc. I do travel to offices and have been in Ann Arbor and just got back from a week in Fort Worth. This distributed foundation, in fact, is a great advantage for an enterprise software company working with customers around the world.
What are you most excited about since joining Koddi?
There are two things that come to mind. First, travel optimization is an extremely cutting-edge space. Inventory is perishable. Prices are dynamic. Targeting is laser-focused. Constant innovation from the publisher side provides an environment where software companies that can execute the fastest and the best will win. These things make for a great intellectual and execution challenge, which I appreciate.
Second, I am even more excited about the people and culture at Koddi. Over my career, I’ve come to really appreciate an environment where people are open to challenge, growth, and change. What George and Nicholas have built in this area is most impressive. The level of trust, transparency, and collaboration is really tremendous.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
I really enjoy travel in general and have been fortunate to visit a lot of beautiful places in the world. I studied Spanish in school and lived in Spain for a year and it still holds a very special place in my heart. My brother recently married a Sevillana and we spent a couple of weeks in Andalucia last year. That area is magical. Natural beauty. Great food. Great people. There is definitely a magic for me there.