Maynard Webb, CEO, LiveOpsBy Kim S. Nash | Posted 2007-02-15 Print
A new kind of CIOa blend of business strategist and operations tinkereris rising to power beyond I.T.
Formerly: CIO, Gateway; COO, eBay
How He's Done: He’s a freshly minted CEO, joining LiveOps in December, but Webb, 51, doesn’t plan to change much about his management style or view of business. Webb has a long history as a CIO, having held the job at Bay Networks and Gateway. He led the technology division of eBay for three years, and then managed operations there for four more.
“I don’t think people saw me as only the tech guy,” he says. “One thing I’ve worked with my teams on—and I’ve said this here already—is, how do I make sure no one in the same circumstance with the same dollars can do it better?”
That outlook meshes well with the core concept behind LiveOps, a venture-funded callcenter hosting company in Palo Alto, Calif. LiveOps provides customer support operations to companies, using 9,000 agents who work at home, connected via the Internet. The company trumpets itself as a domestic, reasonably priced alternative to outsourcing call-center operations to India.
That mandate calls for ruthless efficiency. As Webb puts it, “I’m a huge fan of making and keeping aggressive commitments.”
Webb says his technology background makes him more understanding than the average
CEO of the struggles I.T. faces to deliver projects. “But,” he adds, “I’m probably scarier as their
boss because in many cases I’ve done their job and done it at scale, and I’m not interested in
not having it done well at this scale.”
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