BlueGlass Searches For CEO, Finds Merger Stumbling Block
BlueGlass Interactive will soon have a chief executive officer to lead the newly formed agency. The CEO could come from Zimba, which Yahoo bought for $350 million and then sold to VMware, according to a source close to the deal.
Chris Winfield, chief marketing officer and managing partner at BlueGlass, declined to discuss the high-profile new hire, because negotiations continue. He did, however, talk about the company's direction after merging 10e20, Search & Social, Brent Csutora, Inc. and SecondStep Search.
BlueGlass plans to build out a suite of tools -- free and paid -- that it will introduce in July and then make available in mid-August for prospective clients to try. The free tools introduced next month will focus on social media, supporting tracking comments and clicks across sites. The decision stems from requests by several hundred agencies and small companies to try the tools. The platforms range from complex SEO auditing tools to matching writers with subjects, and social media tools.
The four companies and seven partners took less than a month and a half to reach an agreement that created five business sectors for the agency, ranging from social media marketing to viral content to pay-per-click (PPC) search advertising and search marketing.
Winfield had been in the middle of acquisition talks with larger search companies and digital agencies looking to buy a social media arm and SEO firm when the merger came down.
This is not the first time Winfield tried to negotiate a buyout or partnership with another company. But talks broke down and he walked away after spending more than a year in negotiations.
Nice to be in high demand, but Winfield lost about a month of sleep most recently before finally rejecting the buyout offer from one of the bigger firms. The merger puts BlueGlass offices in four cities where 40 employees support about $10 million in combined annual billings.
Integrating the IT backend infrastructure becomes the biggest challenge the combined company faces today. Each ran on a different enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, but will consolidate on NetSuite, a cloud computing app from Salesforce.com. The project scheduled for completion.
BlueGlass will operate under a traditional agency model and run four trade show conferences yearly. The next hits Los Angeles in July, followed by one in New York later this year.
If you're wondering where the "BlueGlass" name originates, Winfield offers no clue about the "blue" but the "glass" comes from having a clear view to get through all the "bullshit, BS," or muck.