Looking to the Future
Hilary Ingoldsby Whitesides
January 19, 2012
When ContentWatch CEO Jack Sunderlage announced his retirement, the Salt Lake-based company began to search for its new chief. Luckily the company didn’t have to look far. The first person to come to mind was Russ Warner, who was currently serving as managing director of SageCreek, a local consulting company that ContentWatch had previously worked with. Warner, who has a solid reputation for being an aggressive business accelerator, seemed the perfect match for ContentWatch and was named president and CEO in April 2010.
ContentWatch has been in the business of innovation and growth since its founding in 2001 and continues to be a pioneer in the industry. The company has an extensive number of Internet protection products, such as software to protect personal computers, networks and even smartphones. Its offerings also include the No. 1 retail rated Net Nanny. With Warner on board, the company shows no signs of slowing down.
Warner has been a leader in the sales industry for more than 20 years, specifically working with technology firms. His resume extends from Novell, to working as the vice president of global sales for Alianza, to being the director of Latin American and Caribbean sales for Altiris/Symantec. Though Warner’s experience is extensive, one factor remains the same: his ability to drive growth in technology companies. From startups to Fortune 1000 companies, Warner has continually proven to be key to accelerating innovation and growth.
“There’s a lot to do and it will take a while to get there, but I’m excited by the prospect,” Warner says about his new leadership post, adding that the position is like “drinking from a fire hose” because of the sheer amount he has to learn.
But he doesn’t let the challenges slow him down. He jumped right into the executive role by personally interviewing each of ContentWatch’s 38 employees during his first week on the job. His plan is to put their feedback and ideas to work.
It’s clear that Warner’s leadership approach is one of motivation and validation. Promising to keep an open door, Warner isn’t a fan of micromanaging and believes in creating a strong team where everyone can do their part and feel good about their contribution. “Personally, I’ve always wanted to give the workers the tools to get the job done,” he says.
Along those lines, Warner says he isn’t afraid to hire people that are smarter than him because, simply put, “we all have our strengths.”
Warner plans to use the strengths that have governed his successful career to guide the company into its next phase of business. He says he will be looking for areas in which ContentWatch can expand, whether through internal development and new products, complementary technology, new markets, or further acquisitions. At the end of the day, Warner hopes to have the ContentWatch team working toward a unified goal and to ultimately make its customers happy.
“The goal is to evaluate where we are and where we want to be and go for some funding so we can grow bigger and faster. That part is pretty interesting and pretty exciting,” Warren says.