Business operations

New 8×8 CEO expected to improve business operations

Former RingCentral COO Dave Sipes will become 8×8’s new CEO, a move that brings the video conferencing and call center company a leader with proven strengths in managing business operations effectively, analysts said.

It was announced last week that Sipes will replace outgoing CEO Vik Verma. Sipes oversaw RingCentral’s business operations as revenues grew from $10 million to $1 billion in 12 years.

Dave Sipes

“It was the smart choice,” said Zeus Kerravala, founder and analyst at ZK Research. “They need someone to execute, and Sipes led [RingCentral] through his greatest years of growth.”

Verma did well in product development, but was weak in sales and marketing, analysts said. The slats will probably energize the latter.

“They were doing very well on the product side,” said 451 Research analyst Raul Castanon of 8×8. “Now they really need to balance that out.”

During Verma’s tenure, 8×8 updated its communications platform by acquiring video conferencing company Jitsi in 2018 and communications platform-as-a-service provider Wavecell a year later. In 2017, the company purchased Sameroom for its messaging tool which was interoperable with apps from different vendors.

Sipes’ experience with multiple RingCentral partnerships could prove useful in bolstering sales operations, said new 8×8 CEO Castanon. RingCentral partnered with Avaya last year and Atos and Alcatel-Lucent this year to bring its UCaaS offering to enterprises still using its partners’ older on-premises UC products.

“What catches my eye the most is the trajectory over the past two or three years in terms of what RingCentral has done with its business partners,” Castanon said. “[Sipes] was not the only one involved in this, but he was probably very influential in this strategy.”

Sipes’ early challenges as CEO of 8×8 include reversing the company’s slowing revenue growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many small and medium-sized businesses that 8×8 relies on have been hit hard economically.