Belson Back on Top


Note: This post originally appeared in CodeRag

Gavin Belson’s brilliant leadership is unstoppable. While allegedly taking a personal hiatus from day-to-day operations at Hooli, Belson couldn’t resist brokering a blockbuster deal between Hooli and Maleant Data Systems, deploying Hooli’s innovative new Hooli/Endframe Box. The multi-year deal brings handsome margins for Hooli and can easily be a template to apply across the entire Fortune 1000. An inside source tells me that, no surprise, the board was no longer satisfied to let Belson fade into the background. Hat in hand, they begged Belson to come back to the helm.

It’s been barely two months since Belson announced he would be taking a leave from his leadership role in order to focus on spiritual wellness and family. What drove Belson to this decision remains unclear. Was it additional fallout from the Hooli-Search scandal we broke at this very blog? Or perhaps his cutthroat methods in managing Hooli-Search results indicate a demand across the board for higher standards, and as such, Belson could not tolerate the sloppy security upgrades we also reported on. In any case, it seems the company’s electrical issues are resolved, and with it, any spirituality Belson felt the need to examine. The company’s Chief Innovation Officer has returned.

Belson, who is single, has had a slew of successes at Hooli this past year. When he announced the dissolution of the Nucleus project, his bravery was rewarded as Hooli stock jumped 7 percent. The cost savings was compounded when Belson pulled the trigger on company-wide layoffs, and the hole left by Nucleus was quickly filled when he acquired middle-out company Endframe. Endframe’s tech has long dominated the middle-out space, and it’s no surprise that the Hooli/Endframe relationship has combined Hooli’s resources and innovation with Endframe’s impressive tech to create something obscenely profitable: the Hooli/Endframe Box.

With Belson back on top at Hooli, shareholders can breathe a sigh of relief. While Belson’s career is certainly not without drama, his shrewd business sense and innovative technological accomplishments are what’s shaped Hooli into the company it is today. Without Gavin Belson, there is no Hooli. And without Hooli, where would any of us be?

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