It was announced this morning that Luke McKeever, the former CEO of OB10 and, until today, Executive Director of Tungsten Corporation is moving to pastures new. He had already transferred the bulk of his responsibilities to focus on the integration programme following the acquisition of OB10 by Tungsten and he leaves the business in the safe hands of the senior management team who are focused on, as their communication says: “meeting customer needs and becoming the world’s largest trading network.”
Luke joined OB10 almost exactly 3 years ago and was, in my opinion, directly responsible for the transformation of the business.
OB10 was a Marmite company – people either loved them or hated them. There wasn’t really a middle ground. The OB10 founders, quite rightly, laid claim to the “invention” of electronic invoicing as we know it today. They struggled in their early years to gain ground in the regulatory nightmare of Europe and Luke joined just as the market began to grow rapidly. That may have been an accident of timing but it was no accident that the OB10 corporate identity changed. Luke successfully transformed OB10 from the bad guy – the arrogant, dominant network that had a reputation of bullying and cajoling suppliers into the slick 21st century business solution that attracted the Truell brothers to acquire it in 2013.
Luke is one of those people who dispels the myth that being a nice guy is somehow inconsistent with the role of successfully leading a business. On a personal level, I have a great deal of admiration and respect for Luke. He is leaving at a time when Tungsten is progressing impressively and his legacy will prove to be an important asset for Tungsten going forward.
Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin