Today marks a watershed moment, not only for Vision Critical, but for the entire customer intelligence industry. Dr. Angus Reid, whose involvement in the company began soon after it was founded by his son Andrew, has stepped down as our Executive Chair and launched the next chapter in his distinguished career as a leader in public opinion and market research.
When I began my own career in market research, Angus was already a legend. In Canada, his name was and is virtually synonymous with public polling; he had built a hugely successful research company, the Angus Reid Group, and sold it to the global company that is now known as Ipsos Reid.
While many people might consider a $100-million acquisition as a nice career capper, Angus was just getting warmed up. He and Andrew saw that the industry that Angus had helped to define was primed for a redefinition, thanks to the rapid growth of the Internet and the diminishing value of telephone surveys.
Together, they built the company that has grown into today’s Vision Critical: a business that provides cloud-based customer intelligence software to more than 650 companies around the world, including a third of the Fortune 100. Far from resisting the technological innovations that challenged the traditional approach to market research, Angus helped drive the re-invention of our industry and the emergence of a newly powerful approach to customer insight.
I have been fortunate to work closely with Angus in the two years since I joined Vision Critical as its CEO, in which he’s consistently inspired me with his relentless drive and his passionate commitment to bringing companies closer to their customers. As anyone who knows Angus can attest, that inspiration comes as much from having a brilliant sparring partner as it does from having an enthusiastic fan. But Angus has always been the first (and loudest!) in celebrating our successesÛ_and then in seeing around the corner to the next opportunity that lies ahead.
When Angus invited me to join Vision Critical as his successor, I knew we were working towards the day when he would leave his daily work in the company to focus instead on public opinion research. I will leave it to Angus to say more about what that is going to look like in the days ahead, but I know that Canadians – and the world – will once again be lucky to see him turn his intellect and energy to a fresh challenge.
Vision Critical wouldn’t be Vision Critical without Angus. That’s why we’re glad that even as he begins this new chapter, he remains a part of the company – not only as a shareholder, but as member of the Vision Critical family. And it’s thanks to Angus that what started as a family business in the literal sense – including not only Angus and Andrew, but also Jennifer – is now a global family that includes more than 650 employees and 15 offices worldwide.
On behalf of all of us across the Vision Critical community – from staff to shareholders to everyone who has made his or her livelihood in the market research industry – thank you for 40 years of passion and innovation in the ”search for truth.” As I told our staff in the town hall last week, you are the most successful entrepreneur that I have known personally and it has been a fantastic experience to work side-by-side with you for more than two years to evolve this great company into one of Canada’s leading SaaS businesses.
I am honored and humbled by your confidence in the management team to now lead Vision Critical to its next destination. We all know you won’t be far away as we make that journey and I am not at all ashamed to admit that I’ve got all four of your phone numbers on speed dial.