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Red River Promotes Sessions To CEO, Outgoing Chief Will Lead M&A Efforts

Red River President Jeff Sessions has shifted into the CEO role, with longtime CEO Rick Bolduc planning to spearhead a massive M&A spree as executive chairman.

Red River President Jeff Sessions has shifted into the CEO role, with longtime CEO Rick Bolduc planning to spearhead a massive M&A spree as executive chairman.

The Claremont, N.H.-based company, No. 52 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, said that Sessions' initial responsibilities would include hiring senior execs to accommodate the company's planned growth. Red River today has no C-level executives aside from its CEO, Sessions said.

Sessions has worked closely over the past decade with Bolduc, who has been Red River's only CEO since the company's founding in 1995. Bolduc will transition to lining up mergers and acquisitions for Red River in high-growth areas such as security, application development, hybrid cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT), Sessions said.

[RELATED: Government VAR Red River Expands Commercial Business With Acquisition]

"This is part of a long-time corporate management transition plan," Bolduc told CRN. "It's a wonderful, very closely-aligned strategy for future growth."

The shift in responsibilities has happened gradually over the past year, Sessions said, with Bolduc spending more time focused on inorganic growth and working with external firms while Sessions' gained more and more oversight over internal operations. Sessions officially took over as CEO Feb. 6, and the news was announced on Wednesday.

Under Bolduc's tutelage, Red River has been profitable for each of the past 21 years and enjoyed annual growth rates of at least 7 percent to 8 percent every single year, including growth rates of more than 20 percent annually for the past decade.

But Red River has found it needs to grow its IT capabilities even faster to satisfy the business requirements of its federal customers, Sessions said. The company is focusing both on organic capabilities in areas such as security and app dev, as well as opportunities around new and emerging verticals, he said.

"To expand our capabilities organically takes more time than we have today," Sessions said.

The company kicked off its acquisition spree in October by purchasing Accunet Solutions, a solution provider specializing in Dell EMC and serving commercial accounts. Just 10 percent of Red River's customers today are in the commercial sector – with many of those coming over in the Accunet deal – and the company expects to expand its commercial sales base via acquisition, Sessions said.

Red River under Sessions will also look to grow its state and local government business in locations where the company has a physical presence, which include New England, greater Washington D.C. and Austin, Texas.

In his new role, Sessions said he would explore hiring executives in legal, compliance, revenue-generation and marketing. As president, Sessions oversaw the company's customer-facing, market-facing, and revenue-generating arms, but the people running back-office areas such as finance and legal reported directly into Bolduc.

Sessions expects Red River to have divisions in areas such as federal, state, local and commercial, as well as a more traditional corporate structure with directors and vice presidents having profit-and-loss responsibilities for a specific functional area. This should help empower more Red River executives with decision-making authority, Sessions said.

Red River today employs 250 people, with roughly 100 of those people joining the company within the past year, Sessions said. Some 30 of the new workers came were brought over from Accunet, Sessions said, with the remaining 70 coming on to take roles in operations and field engineering.

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