August 29, 2017 — Jonathan Ord, CEO of CRM vendor DealerSocket, is stepping down as CEO of the company he founded with Brad Perry in 2001. Replacing Ord is Sejal Pietrzak, who is leaving her position as Chief Administration Officer at Active Network.
Under Ord’s leadership, DealerSocket grew into one of the top CRM companies in the automotive retail space. He was named as 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Following an investment in 2008 from Meritech Capital Partners for 20% of the company, Vista Equity Partners paid $239.5 million for a majority position in DealerSocket.
Vista Equity also owns Active Networks, which it acquired and took private in November 2013. Global Payments acquired Active’s sports and communications division for $1.2 billion in early August.
Ord’s retirement is DealerSocket’s second high-level departure since June when COO Cameron Darby left the company. Ord is staying on with the board and as an investor with the company.
Naming Pietrzak as Ord’s replacement likely indicates Vista plans to grow DealerSocket through acquisitions and expanding relationships instead of implementing strategic cuts. Pietrzak has a strong 12-year track record having helped Active Networks grow form 150 employees to more than 2,200 with revenue growing more than 15-fold. She also helped put together several M&A deals during her tenure.
Although Pietrzak comes from outside the auto industry, she has a proven track record in software and customer experience. She grew up in Michigan and has several family members that work in the auto industry in engineering and sales positions.