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CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast

On our #CIBCInnovationEconomy podcast series, hear from leaders, entrepreneurs, experts and venture capitalists about the changing dynamics of the North American innovation economy

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Maintaining the Momentum as a New CEO with Hootsuite CEO, Tom Keiser

Photo-Tom Keiser
Tom Keiser

Episode Summary

There comes a time when some startup founders need to turn over the reins of their company to someone new. Some founders may hold on for too long and ultimately fail to accelerate the company’s growth, and others may move too fast and miss out on a chance to capitalize on the first mover advantage. In this episode, Michael sits down with Hootsuite’s new CEO, Tom Keiser, to discuss his plans for continuing to grow the company now that he’s at the helm and further build on what founder Ryan Holmes created. During his career, Tom has more than quadrupled the valuation of Zendesk, re-platformed the parent company of Victoria's Secret and The Gap for e-commerce, and most recently, he’s stepped into the role of CEO at Hootsuite to scale up the social media management platform. During the episode, Tom explains how he’s applying lessons from his past career experiences to his current role at Hootsuite, his plans for taking the platform to the next level, and much more.

Episode Notes

Keep up a cadence
During his time working in retail, Tom learned the value of maintaining a regular and rigorous cadence when planning for the future. When it comes to taking your business’s temperature through key metrics and signs of success, it’s not enough to check in once a quarter or even once a month. Tom adheres to a weekly or bi-weekly rhythm of checking in on the core metrics of the business to ensure short-term and long-term goals are on track.

Lose the limits
One major difference Tom noticed when he made the leap from retail to technology was the general lack of constraints in the tech world. While the retail world tends to be limited in a physical sense based on things like geographical space or supply chain issues, technology makes it possible to innovate much more rapidly without being held back by capacity limits. Since the tech world essentially affords infinite possibilities for the future, Tom looks for talent who live according to this limitless mindset.

Skate to the puck
When it comes to Tom’s overall strategy for taking Hootsuite to the next level, he plans on helping the company continue to evolve in tandem with the social media industry. By keeping his finger on the pulse of new and emerging social platforms, Tom and the Hootsuite team are skating where the puck goes to maintain alignment with the major players within the space. 

CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from startup to IPO and beyond. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

Show Contributors: 

Tom Keiser


Michael Hainsworth


CIBC Innovation Banking