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Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola On The Raucous Town Hall Meeting That Ruffled Datto Employees’ Feathers
After a town hall meeting left some employees concerned about the future of the Datto culture, Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola spoke with CRN about his leadership style, the way Kaseya’s Datto acquisition came together and his desire for transparency.
Is there anything you'd like to reinforce or anything else you want to get across about this town hall meeting?
Vocolla: Clearly anybody in any organization treats internal meetings and external meetings differently. The strategy, or the approach that we take is we’d rather be conversational … instead of just being robotic.
We’re not a public company. As a private company, we can be more transparent or less transparent. We can do a lot of things that public companies struggle to do for various reasons, and we prefer to just be a little bit more—I use the word transparent—or add more color, add more background.
I don’t know how many company CEOs go and do two-hour Q and A’s with rank and file employees every week? I love it. I think it’s great. You know, I do think that change is tough for people. I got asked the question, Are you changing the culture of Datto? You said you weren’t going to. What’s up, dude, [are] you full of shit?
We bought Datto for its culture, its brand, its people. Datto is awesome to MSPs. Datto really takes care of its customers. They have great tech, and they have a culture of innovation. Datto and MSP are like synonyms. That’s the culture we bought. That’s what I mean when I say we don’t want to change that culture.
What we do with our health insurance or our 401k matching, they are important to employees, no doubt. I don’t view that as culture. I view that as how do we make sure our employees are compensated at the top end of the market. Compensation is cash, equity, stock benefits, all that kind of crap. And somehow, the message has been mixed.
I think you articulate the value of the MSP incredibly well in that in that two-hours meeting. You're obviously a big fan of MSPs. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Vocolla: Thank you. One last thing … I can tell you that integrating two organizations together, it’s not easy. I don’t care if you’re buying a five-person company, whatever it may be, it’s not easy.
There are a very small group of very vocal people who don’t like any change. Some of their concerns mean that they might not be the right people to work at Kaseya moving forward, and that’s OK. I give the example if Microsoft was my boss tomorrow, they would fire me so fast, I would not fit in there. And I love Microsoft. … I’ve learned this: over 90 percent of people who post on any social media site are posting negative reviews, the reviews are negative … For the MSP community to think about the 401k benefits of employees at Datto in 2023, instead of focusing on the fact that the price of the products that they’re buying and using is going down, and they’re getting more integration [doesn’t make sense]. And Kaseya just demonstrated that the MSP market is a huge market. We spent $6 billion to buy somebody, right? And we’re saying we want to lower prices, we want MSPs to make more money, and we put a business strategy together that can do it.