Exclusive: Pax8’s John Street Steps Down, Taps CTO Scott Chasin As CEO

‘I can’t imagine a better leader, he’s got terrific vision, he’s got the fire in his belly that I share with him and he’s ready to take it to a whole new level. I’m looking forward to plugging in and being on the ride, but I don’t need to steer the ship,’ Pax8’s John Street said of naming Scott Chasin its new CEO.

Pax8 founder and CEO John Street is stepping back and has named current CTO Scott Chasin (pictured) as the company’s newest CEO, effective Wednesday.

Street, who will remain as chairman of the board, told CRN in an exclusive interview that the Denver-based distributor is “really poised” to go to next level and Chasin is the man for the job.

“When you look at the time it’s going to take and the energy, I’m in a good place in my life and I really teed this up well for Scott,” he said. “I can’t imagine a better leader, he’s got terrific vision, he’s got the fire in his belly that I share with him and he’s ready to take it to a whole new level. I’m looking forward to plugging in and being on the ride, but I don’t need to steer the ship.”

As chairman of the board, Street, who founded Pax8 12 years ago as a born-in-the-cloud distributor disrupting legacy distributors, will continue to provide oversight and focus on strategic initiatives for the company.

The changing of the CEO guard comes two weeks after Pax8 implemented layoffs amounting to less than 5 percent of its global workforce in a move aimed at positioning the company for “long-term success.”

In an internal email sent to employees not impacted by the cuts and obtained by CRN, Street said the company does not anticipate further companywide reductions in the near future and that the cuts were made to make Pax8 “a fit company.”

Pax8’s latest round of funding—$185 million—came from SoftBank two years ago, giving the distributor at that time a $1.7 billion valuation.

Chasin joined Pax8 as CTO in 2021 and has known Street for 30 years. As a serial entrepreneur, he has founded and led multiple successful technology startups including USA.NET, MX Logic and ProtectWise.

[Related: Pax8 Co-Founder Says These Four Steps Will Give You The Edge With AI]

The new CEO—the visionary and driving force behind the distributor’s revamped Cloud Marketplace aimed at providing a customer acquisition engine for partners—said Pax8 is at a pivotal moment of innovation, which will be highlighted at the company’s Beyond conference in June.

“It’s an amazing company, culturally, and I think my appointment is going to send a message that this is a product-led technology company that will continue to disrupt and innovate the channel for years to come,” he told CRN. “I think it’s the beginning of the next chapter for Pax8, one that’s built on an incredible foundation and I’m completely excited about the new role.”

As CTO of Pax8, Chasin grew a team of engineers and product developers, led research and development initiatives, and developed a robust technology road map. A new CTO for the company has not been chosen.

As an early innovator of cloud-based technologies, Chasin has dedicated much of his professional life to developing cutting-edge offerings and has served on the boards of various organizations, providing strategic oversight and guidance in an ever-evolving technology landscape.

“It is powerful to have a team that is aligned, that is at the top of their game, and they can execute with you,” Chasin said. “When you’re on a mission and you’re on it together, there’s no summit that you can’t reach.”

Pax8 partner Marc Menzies, president and CTO of New York-based MSP Overview Technology Solutions, thinks it’s important for Pax8 to keep the innovation persona at the forefront, “That’s why a lot of partners originally went with them and why I believe a lot of partners stay with them.

“Over the last couple of years, they’ve continued to deliver that,” he told CRN. “But a refresh, especially when the CTO is becoming the CEO, does show that their priority is in the technology. It shows the dedication, which is what brought many of us to Pax8 to begin with. I think Scott will be an excellent leader and will really help to further John’s original vision.”

Jason Slagle, president of CNWR, a Toledo, Ohio-based MSP, said he’s most excited to see a tech-focused person at the helm.

“That means he’s going to come up with more tech-based solutions to things, and that’s good for the industry,” he told CRN.

As a Pax8 partner, Paco Lebron said he felt a “shift in the wind” in that things were changing for the better at the company over the last year.

“I noticed that there was a lot more attention on their partners,” Lebron, founder and CEO of Chicago-based ProdigyTeks, told CRN.

He said his account rep in the last year has really listened to his pain points and where he wants to take his business to figure out how Pax8 can help drive scalability.

“As far as the leadership change, it makes sense for where Pax8 is at today,” he said. “With Scott taking over, I imagine it’s the whole new chapter of breathing new life into Pax8. This tells me that whatever their next goal is, they’re very serious about it and doubling down on it.”

In his own message to partners, Chasin simply said to “get ready.”

“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” he said. “We’re committed to our partners and to continue to deliver the value. We’re going to do whatever it takes to help them grow, to help them save money and reduce risk, that’s in our DNA. We’re going to use tech and we’re going to innovate our way to even more value creation. This is a new chapter and it’s one that says we’re going to get really serious about how technology, including data and AI, is going to impact their growth. We are the marketplace of the future.”