Over the last six years, Namely has grown into a powerful HR platform for midsized companies. With a full suite offering talent management, payroll, benefits and more, Namely has taken major strides toward the vision our CEO Matt Straz set out to create.
At the start of an exciting new year, we’re thrilled to announce that Graham Younger, formerly an executive at Box and SAP SuccessFactors, is joining us at President and CRO. Graham will take us into our next chapter of growth, as we work to help more and more companies build better workplaces.
So who is Graham, and why does he foresee a bright future for Namely? We sat down for a Q&A. Here’s what we learned.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I spent my childhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the darker days of the “Troubles.” My parents and many childhood friends still live there, and thankfully it’s now peaceful and beautiful. We have a vacation home on the beautiful north coast—strategically positioned between the oldest whiskey distillery in the world, Bushmills and Royal Portrush Golf Club, host to the 2019 British Open Championship.
I studied Computer Science at University in Birmingham, England, and then I had the honor of attending Stanford Graduate Business School.
My career kicked off in London, selling enterprise software for IBM and Oracle. Then, in 2005, I moved to the US with a British software company called Cramer.
After Cramer had a successful exit, I rejoined Oracle to run one of their global business units—but the pull of my first high-growth SaaS opportunity was too great. A few years in, I joined SuccessFactors during a period of explosive growth. SuccessFactors was acquired by SAP for $3.6B, which was the highest multiple for a SaaS company at the time. SuccessFactors was run as an independent division within SAP and two years after acquisition, I was responsible for $1B in global revenue.
I then joined Box and was responsible for all revenues. I’m proud to say we scaled from $100M to just shy of $400M in nearly three years, with a highly successful NYSE IPO in the middle. All in all, it was a great experience. I learned a lot about the disciplines and predictability required to prepare a company to go public.
Most recently, I was tempted to LA by Jeffrey Katzenberg, the famed CEO of DreamWorks, to spin out a software company. Despite great success in year one, the acquisition of DreamWorks by Comcast NBCUniversal brought that company to an exit.
What was your first ever job?
My neighbor in Belfast owned a home security alarm company and asked me to work for him during the summer holidays for some extra cash while I was still at school. So the first time I was paid for work was installing home security systems as a kid!
What drew you to Namely as a company?
So many factors. First, the quality of the leadership, starting with Matt and right across the executive team. Second, the pedigree of the investors and board. And third, the size of the market opportunity. I know the HR space from my SuccessFactors days and felt that the size of opportunity in the largely underserved midmarket was huge.
This isn’t your first time working in the HR space. What excites you most about re-entering the industry?
My experience at SuccessFactors was one of the best in my career, and I understand the HCM space well as a result. Simply put, the biggest investment any company makes is in their human capital. The best run companies need a technology partner to help align, motivate, and serve their people.
The competitive differential is talent and those companies that look after their people will win. We provide a large part of the market with the tools to help them attract and retain the talent thats helps them be the best they can be.
What are your 2018 priorities as Namely’s President and CRO?
I’m focused on creating an environment for sustained success by driving demand, attracting and retaining top talent, and investing across the business to make our offering more robust. Ultimately, we will continue to grow aggressively, but become more structured and predictable each quarter.
You’re based in California. Can you speak to Namely’s expanded presence over the past year across the U.S.?
We have a pan-national opportunity. We need people across the country to truly execute against the full opportunity. We will continue to expand coast to coast, while remaining very proud of being a company headquartered in NYC.
What’s your favorite part about working at Namely (so far)?
The energy of the people. I have been incredibly impressed with everyone I have met. The talent at Namely is superb and as a result the culture is very strong too.