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ConnectWise COO Geoffrey Willison: 5 Things to Know

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As ConnectWise gears up for 2020, CEO Jason Magee will welcome at least two new executives to the MSP software company's c-suite. The first is COO Geoffrey Willison. The second is a CFO to succeed Michael Power, who left the IT management and business automation software provider to join SharpSpring.

Willison shifts to ConnectWise COO from his previous role as CFO of Continuum, which ConnectWise acquired in November. But who exactly is he -- and what does Willison bring to the ConnectWise executive team? Here are five things to know.

1. Education: Willison earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, and his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

2. Consulting Know-how: After college, Willison around 1995 surfaced at Deloitte -- the big four accounting firm and the largest professional services provider in the world.

3. Climbing the Consulting Ranks: By 2001 he surfaced at Boston Consulting Group -- the global management consulting firm. He consistently ranked among the company's top 10 percent highest performers. At one point during his consulting journey, Willison assisted a $4 billion communications system supplier with a global supply chain transformation.

4. M&A and Funding Experience: From 2006 through 2016, Willison held president, COO and CEO positions at multiple growth-oriented businesses. Edvisors, an education-centric site for students, attracted multiple buyout bidders upon exit in 2012. Plastiq, an e-payments firm, attracted $10 million in Series B funding in mid-2014. And Valore, an e-commerce marketplace provider and digital publisher, was acquired in 2016.

5. MSP Software, Services Experience: Willison surfaced at Continuum in February 2017 as CFO. A few months later, private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquired Continuum. As CFO, Willison worked with former Continuum CEO Michael George and the executive team as the company rounded out its product and services portfolio with new services offerings -- particularly security operations center (SOC) as a service (SOCaaS), managed detection and response (MDR), and endpoint protection capabilities for MSPs.

ChannelE2E briefly met Willison during the Continuum Navigate 2019 Pittsburgh conference in October. A quick handshake and several ChannelE2E side conversations with Continuum leaders left a lasting impression. Indeed, c-suite members described Willison as an executive of “unlimited potential.”

ConnectWise Executive Leadership: What's Next

ConnectWise has already confirmed Willison's new role with the company, but the Tampa-based business hasn't issued a press release about the move. Nor has the company disclosed the name of its next CFO. Perhaps one sweeping announcement highlighting the c-suite updates is on the way. We'll be watching.

The ConnectWise-Continuum deal, backed by private equity firm Thoma Bravo, certainly has some major synergies for MSPs (managed IT service providers) and technology partners. But there are also some talent and product overlaps.

ChannelE2E recently outlined these 10 potential next moves for the ConnectWise business, and the potential implications for partners.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.