Causata, a 30-person big data startup, has landed a big fish as its new CEO: Paul Wahl.Wahl is the former CEO of SAP America and former COO of Siebel Systems. A 30-year veteran in the software industry, he was fending off recruiters for big companies and enjoying semi retirement as a CEO-in-residence for Accel Partners’ London office before taking this gig.
Business Insider caught up with Wahl in his first few days at the new job to find out what was so special about Causata that made him want to leave London, move to San Mateo, CA, and be its CEO.
Wahl was one of Causata’s seed investors and on its board. He never intended to dive into a day-to-day role with it, he told us. But he fell in love with the technology and its growth potential, he said.
“One of the exciting for me to go back to a startup and really influence everything in action and see the feedback very quickly,” he says. “Our game plan is four- to five-times growth in the next 12 months.”
Causata sells software that brings big data analysis to customer-facing applications. Wahl calls it the “next generation” of CRM. It scoops up everything a company knows about a customer — no matter where that information comes from — then pumps that data out in realtime to things like call centres and customer service websites. It has about 10 customers to date. For instance, Intuit uses Causata with a service it offers banks to make their online banking more profitable.
During his reign at Siebel Systems, Wahl grew revenues from $360 million to more than $2 billion. In his eight years as CEO of SAP America he grew revenues 500 per cent to $2.5 billion. At Accel, he was a board member of QlikTech, which went public in 2010 and now has a market capitalisation of over $2 billion.
So, there’s every reason to believe Wahl can put Causata on the map.
Causata was founded in 2009 and has grabbed about $10 million in funding so far, led by Accel.