He’s a self-proclaimed technological junkie and a reformed engineer. He’s grown a company from nothing to $100 million dollars in revenue.
And he attributes part of his business success to lessons learned as a triathlete.
Meet Mike Metzger, MediaPRO’s new CEO!
From Mechanical Engineer to Organizational Leader
An admitted math and science nerd in high school, Mike graduated from Clarkson College in Potsdam, New York. As a newly minted mechanical engineer, he entered the rarified air of Boeing jetliners to work on the 737.
There was only one problem. He soon found his sights were set on something much larger—the start-up world of high-tech companies. So, he gave up designing sleek planes for developing strategic plans and entered the MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University. With that, the stage was set for taking growth-stage tech firms to new heights.
Scaling Up PayScale
Mike’s previous two CEO positions have positioned him well for taking the reins at MediaPRO. While at Performant, a software diagnostic test tool for J2EE applications, he guided the company from the pre-revenue stage to millions in revenue and ultimately a sale to Mercury Interactive.
Even more impressive, he helped take PayScale from just an idea to a $100 million organization. The leader in employee and employer compensation strategies, the company grew from four to 450 employees under Mike’s watch, serving 8,000 customers of all sizes.
His Goal for MediaPRO: Deliver the Most Compelling Customer Solutions
“As I thought about leaving PayScale I was intrigued with the opportunities to use technology to help customers with their cybersecurity challenges,” Mike says. “So, I looked for a company that had a proven technology, a proven go-to-market model, and a proven team. A company that was poised to scale. MediaPRO fit the bill.
“My goal—other than the obvious one of growing the company to a [+$50 million] business—is to build on MediaPRO’s already strong position in the market and expand our customer base and product set to become the dominant player in the category.
“Ideally, combining my experience with the talented MediaPRO team will help us achieve four years of scale in less time by avoiding mistakes and speeding up the process.”
“Successful knowledge-based businesses like PayScale and MediaPRO do a couple things really well,” Mike says. “They figure out what customers need and come up with innovative, cool, new approaches and ideas to meet those needs better than anyone else.”
“Ultimately that happens when your team is firing on all cylinders. My job is to create an environment and level of energy and a culture that enables our people to get excited and encourages them collectively to contribute their intellectual property to our shared vision.”
Leadership Lessons from Triathlons
For anyone not familiar with a full triathlon, it’s an event that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, immediately followed by a 112-mile bike ride, and then completed with a 26.2-mile marathon. Most people are winded just by reading the preceding sentence. Mike Metzger has completed four different full triathlons, covering three states and two countries.
“One of the things I’ve learned as a triathlete that has helped me in business is that you’ve got to keep your eye on the long-term goal. You’re going to experience moments where you doubt you’ll ever make it. But if you trust your training—or your well-thought-out strategic plan—you’ll get there.
“A co-worker once said to me, ‘I’ve never met anybody who’s as persistent as you are. You don’t ever go away.’ I think a better way to say it is, I never give up.”
Great Company, Great Place to Work
“One of the things I’m most proud of in my career is, as I mentioned, taking PayScale from zero to $100 million in revenue. But equally rewarding is the fact that in the state of Washington PayScale was in the top four in our category for best places to work, four years in a row.
“That’s what I want to do at MediaPRO. Scale us up and make it a great place to work while doing so.”