Applied Systems Names Rhodes New CEO as French Steps Down

Reid French has stepped down as CEO of the insurance agency technology firm Applied Systems, and cloud technology executive Taylor Rhodes has joined as Applied’s new chief executive officer.

French, who served as CEO for eight years, will continue to advise Applied as a member of the board of directors.

Rhodes joins Applied from SMS Assist, a cloud-based software platform for multi-site property management, where he has been CEO since May 2017.

Prior to SMS, Rhodes was CEO and president at Rackspace, a managed cloud company, since 2014. He led this company as a cloud pioneer to an industry leader with more than $2 billion in revenue.

Prior to Rackspace, he served as a leader in enterprise, financial and corporate strategy roles at Electronic Data Systems Corp. He is also former U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer from 1996 to 2000.

French joined Applied Systems in 2011 from Intergraph Corp., a geospatial and computer-aided design software company.

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A company spokespersons said that Reid worked with the board on this succession and believes a CEO should be in that role for about five to seven years before making way “for new ideas and energy to enter a company.”

The executive change comes about eight months after Google bought a minority stake in Applied Systems.

Applied Systems, a privately-owned company, has grown considerably since launching in 1983. It produced $194 million in revenue in 2012 and that figure has grown robustly, reaching $331 million in 2017, according to numbers from the firm. Through the 2018 third quarter, Applied Systems has generated $388 million in revenue.

Part of that growth has come from expanding globally, with locations now in Canada, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. More than 1,500 people work for Applied Systems.

In 2013, Applied Systems was acquired by investment funds advised by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman from the private investment firm Bain Capital in a transaction valued at approximately $1.8 billion. JMI Equity, a private equity firm that focuses on software and technology businesses, invested alongside H&F.

In 2006, Bain Capital acquired a majority stake in Applied Systems from Vista Equity Partners in a buyout that was reported to be worth $675 million. Long-time Applied Systems chief executive Jim Kellner retained a major stake in the company. Kellner remained as CEO until September, 2011, when French was appointed CEO.

In April, Applied Systems announced it had acquired TechCanary, an insurance customer relationship management (CRM) system built on the Salesforce.com platform.

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