Advanced, one of the UK’s largest software and services providers, has appointed ex-Salesforce leader Simon Short as Chief Operating Officer. Simon, who is the former Executive Vice President of Global Customer Success for Salesforce, will help bolster customer success around Advanced’s Cloud solutions through driving high levels of retention, customer growth and acquisition.
Simon is Advanced’s second major appointment in eight months. In June 2020, Chuka Umunna, the former Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, joined the company as a non-exec director to support is accelerated growth phase. The appointment also comes 18 months after a £2 billion investment deal with Vista Equity Partners and BC Partners.
Simon has an extensive track record, having worked for Salesforce in a senior customer success role, across EMEA and globally, for more than five years. Previously, he was Head of Technology and Business Management at Vodafone as well as CTO and Head of Digital for the customer experience business at Capgemini. He also served as an officer in the Royal Navy for 15 years where he supported major defence and technology programmes.
The appointment is pivotal for Advanced as it has made significant investments into its customer success function which will help it accelerate growth – through building its existing Cloud products and acquiring new products. The company has developed and acquired 19 Cloud products within two years, with more in the pipeline for 2021, and the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for its existing Cloud products has grown by 9% in just six months and +8 points since June 2019. Overall, Advanced’s NPS score has grown by +46 points since Gordon Wilson joined the company as CEO.
Commenting on his appointment, Simon said: “Advanced is a fast-growing Cloud software company and I am thrilled to be joining at this point in its journey. The company has had remarkable success to date and I look forward to focusing on how to make a difference to its thousands of customers and grow the business through unrivalled customer success.”
Gordon added: “We want to become the best Cloud software and services provider, and Simon is the person who will help us get there. He is one of the customer success heavyweights in the industry. His vast experience in customer success, working for the world’s first and largest software-as-a-service business, gives us the opportunity to not only learn best practice but align to our vision of delivering a service to our customers that others can only aspire to.”