There is no success without a successor. – John Maxwell
Today is an exciting day, both for me personally and for the future of Acceleration Partners (AP). After 14 years, I am transitioning to the role of Founder & Chairman of the Board at AP.
And in what should be of little surprise to most people, I am very excited to announce that Matt Wool, my longtime number two, has been promoted to CEO, effective today. Matt is a 10-year veteran of AP and was our fourth employee. In his current role as President, he has led the company’s day-to-day operations for over five years.
Matt and I have maintained an incredible professional relationship for almost a decade, a partnership built on a foundation of trust, respect and an appreciation for how we complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Matt’s leadership has played a crucial role in AP’s considerable growth over the past few years. He has shepherded the business’ strategic plan that we created together and has ensured the organization continues to execute against it while maintaining our unique culture. Over the past three years, we have rounded out our excellent executive team at AP, brought on a new investment partner and completed two acquisitions, while growing our revenue over 50% through both new and retained clients.
Matt is the perfect person to lead AP into its next phase of growth. He works constantly on becoming a better leader and has done the hard work to prepare himself to be a CEO, while earning the respect of our clients, vendors, employees, and our Board of Directors. Most importantly, Matt has always personified and exemplified AP’s core values of Own It, Excel and Improve and Embrace Relationships.
Leading a growing organization is never without its challenges. I have seen Matt face significant adversity as a leader and come out of it stronger. Matt spoke openly years ago at our annual AP Summit about how close he came to quitting in 2015, when AP hit its first real professional bump in the road as a result of significant organizational growing pains and a few key personnel mistakes. The key to a great relationship, and to great leadership, is not quitting when things are hard (See 2021). Leaders must decide what needs to change to move past adversity and drive the execution of the change they are seeking. That is what Matt and I did back in 2015, and we have never looked back.
As AP has grown to over 270+ people across 10 countries and begins the march to its AP Summit, it is the perfect time for Matt to formally assume the CEO role. This has been a carefully planned, intentional transition that Matt and I have worked on for nearly two years, starting with an initial conversation on an afternoon walk after a conference in London. I have always preached to our employees that important decisions, especially personnel decisions, should be made from the lens of what is best for the business overall and their team, and this is my time to lead by example and give the reins to the right leader at the right time.
As CEO, Matt will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the company and lead the amazing executive team he built over the past few years, while also taking a more vocal leadership role on the Board of Directors and setting the strategy for AP’s future growth.
As for me, this change really formalizes a transition that has been underway for some time now. I will still be an active employee, chairing our Board of Directors and focusing on the things that I enjoy most: supporting the launch of new services and partnerships, training our future leaders, speaking and writing on industry trends, fostering a great culture and leading our aggressive M&A efforts. I am also excited to continue developing my writing and look forward to spending more time with my family and my kids, who have only a few years left at home.
I look forward to supporting Matt as he leads AP, and as the company continues its journey of becoming the leader in the global partnership marketing industry. I have no doubt that the best is yet to come.