June 9, 2015

Cover Story

CXO of the Year

Just as the star quarterback is often the face of a football team, in the ...Read More

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Beyond Tech


CXO of the Year

By Utah Business Editors

June 9, 2015

Just as the star quarterback is often the face of a football team, in the executive suite it’s the CEO who garners most of the attention. But CEOs can rarely go it alone—it takes the whole team to make the organization successful. Chief executives run the gamut from finance to marketing to operations and more. Our 2015 CXO of the Year honorees are key players in their companies; join us as we pay tribute to these champions of the c-suite.

Matthew S. Davis
Co-Owner and COO, Walker Edison Furniture Company

Walker Edison Furniture was a fledgling company when Matthew Davis joined its executive team as chief operating officer in 2007. He has played an integral role in the growth and reach the company enjoys today. His enthusiasm and passion for efficiency has helped motivate employees and build relationships with vendors and designers alike. Under Davis’ direction, Walker Edison has increased the number of products offered from 35 to over 150 and has earned double-digit revenue increases year after year. The company also expanded its reach to Canada and plans to enter Mexico soon with hopes of gaining a larger international presence.

“We constantly strive to cultivate new relationships with vendors and designers, the most recent of which was the formation of a partnership between our company and designer Angelo Surmelis, and the introduction of our collaborative apartment furnishings collection,” he says.

Living by the company’s motto, “Live Outside the Box,” Davis spearheaded and initiated a one-day shipping policy to keep up with consumer demand. “Our team has built an innovative ecommerce based furniture manufacturing model that provides the highest quality of stylish, ready-to-assemble furniture shipped straight to your door,” he says.

“Don’t let fear of making a mistake cripple your decision-making abilities. Paralysis by analysis can instantly halt the momentum and success of a business if it is allowed to persist.”

Sean Davis
President and COO, Brahma Group, Inc.

Sean Davis co-founded Brahma in 2002. He borrowed $200,000 to do so, and since then has turned that $200,000 into $300 million worth of revenues and hired some 3,000 employees. In the past three years, the Brahma Group’s revenues have grown from $80 million in yearly revenue to $250 million.

During his 20-plus years working in the industrial construction industry, Davis says he’s learned many lessons, including how to realize when executive decisions need to be revisited and how to manage risks unique to his industry.

Since safety is of paramount importance in industrial construction, Davis has implemented multiple safety measures, including the development of the Brahma Safety App, which serves “as a tool to engage every employee of the company to actively participate in safety, bridging the gap between field level employees and c-level executives,” says Madison Allred, a public relations executive at the company.

The success of the app led to Brahma being invited to speak at ISNetworld’s Annual Safety Conference.

“Sean is the heart of a complex beating organism,” says Allred. “His vitality to the organization is nearly impossible to express in words.”

“It’s not easy being one of the corporate level executives trying to steer this great company though the ever-changing challenges encountered. You sometimes make decisions that may have been thought to be the best decision at the time, but now the direction that decision is taking you needs to be changed.”

James Grierson
COO, Bluehost, an Endurance International Group company

James Grierson began his career in the tech industry in 1994, replicating and labeling floppy disks. Now he oversees the business operations at Bluehost, a company that provides web presence services to more than a million customers worldwide.

In that role, Grierson built an online affiliate network that brings in over 150,000 new customers each year. Bluehost has experienced tremendous growth since he joined—growing from 60 employees to 250, after which company was sold and then grew again from 250 to 700 employees.

“I view my role in the company as pivotal to providing secure and meaningful employment to over 700 family members,” says Grierson. “It is a great responsibility to provide strong leadership and direction to ensure the business is growing in number of customers, profitability and employees.”

Another success for Grierson was his strategy to partner with Open Source and nonprofit organizations to provide them with the tools and services to help them fulfill their missions. “By doing so I was able to position Bluehost as one of the fastest-growing companies in our space,” he says. “Bluehost is also known as the top Open Source supporter in the marketplace. By helping others succeed we were able to enjoy success together.”

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