CHRIS ADAMS, CEO OF PARK PLACE TECH - INTERVIEW WITH TOP 100 INNOVATION CEO
CHRIS ADAMS, CEO OF PARK PLACE TECHNOLOGIES HAS BEEN SELECTED BY THE JUDGES OF WORLD BIZ MAGAZINE'S ANNUAL AWARDS TO BE A RECIPIENT OF THE TOP 100 CEOS IN INNOVATION AWARD 2021.
THIS SELECTION FOLLOWS A STRINGENT PROCESS THAT EVALUATED OVER 40,000 NOMINEES TO SELECT THE EXCLUSIVE LIST OF 100 WINNERS.
As President and CEO of Park Place Technologies, Chris Adams is an architect of leadership, innovation and change. Park Place is the world’s largest post-warranty data center organization, with operations in 154 countries, supporting more than 21,000 customers.
Prior to becoming CEO, Chris’s most recent role was President and Chief Operating Officer for Park Place, where he oversaw global operations, Information & Technology, new product development, international expansion, finance and all Mergers & Acquisitions activity.
During his 15 years at Park Place, Chris has served in a wide range of leadership positions across operations and finance, impacting all areas of Park Place. Chris drove the M&A strategy, orchestrating 18 acquisitions since 2016 and growing Park Place from a North American to a Global organization. He spearheaded expansion into the European, Asian and Latin American regions. Under his stewardship, Park Place has grown from fewer than 100 employees to a global employer that counts over 2,200 people in its family.
Chris is an active thought leader in the tech industry, contributing bylines to many publications, and speaking at conferences around the world such as Gartner. Additionally, Chris serves as executive sponsor of the international Park Place Women in STEM (WINS) initiative as well as other community-based programs focused on teaching computer skills in underserved schools. Chris’s goal is to foster a culture of partnerships that makes Park Place a destination work environment focused on career growth for all associates.
Chris received his BBA in Accounting from the University of Toledo and his MBA in Entrepreneurship from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He was a winner of the Crain’s Cleveland 40 Under Forty award in 2011, the Crain’s COO of the Year award in 2016 and the Smart Business Dealmakers Award in 2018.
Chris is an active community member and serves on multiple boards including United Way of Greater Cleveland and Breakthrough Schools. Chris is a member of the Cleveland chapter of Young Professionals Organization (YPO) and an active instructor in Junior Achievement.
"As a third-party IT services and solutions provider, Park Place plays a crucial role in solving many issues brought on by the pandemic – first and foremost, the rise of digital-first enterprises."
How is Park Place ensuring it continues to lead the industry?
A series of strategic acquisitions over the past year gave our company even greater access to the tools, talent and service offerings needed to adapt quickly to the changing market environment. These expansions strengthened our offerings in crucial areas of IT, such as data center maintenance, network service maintenance and support, hardware maintenance and data migration.
How is Park Place supporting its customers as they navigate complex ongoing challenges?
As a third-party IT services and solutions provider, Park Place plays a crucial role in solving many issues brought on by the pandemic – first and foremost, the rise of digital-first enterprises. A hybrid or fully remote working model requires a lot of heavy lifting in the IT department to make sure that systems are always up and running and employees stay connected no matter where they are. Secondly, the ongoing labor shortage is making it tough and expensive for companies to hire experienced, dynamic IT staff in house. We’re able to fill short-term talent or skills gaps for our customers to offset workloads for internal IT teams. One last market need to mention here is virtual onboarding for new hires and staff acquired through M&As, a growing trend across all industries. Given new remote work flexibility and the fast-paced growth of companies, this creates a need for dynamic, experienced and global IT teams to effectively manage and adapt to these changes.
"One trend that a lot of companies are seeing right now is the rise of the Chief Information Officer, or CIO."
What is the biggest trend you are currently seeing in the market?
One trend that a lot of companies are seeing right now is the rise of the Chief Information Officer, or CIO. Going into the new year, companies are planning 2022 budgets and know that IT is more critical to the success of their organizations than ever. Given the mass digitalization of enterprises, CFOs don’t want to cut costs for IT teams that may negatively impact operations for the company. C-level representation of IT teams is necessary to understand the infrastructure needed, costs associated and alternatives available to make these departments run most efficiently.
"I am motivated by how much progress we’ve made to date and pushing the company to pass new milestones."
Share with us some of your successes at Park Place.
I joined Park Place in 2006 as CFO, moved on to serve as COO, and then was appointed CEO in 2019. This breadth of experience has given me the opportunity to work closely with every department and team at Park Place. I am motivated by how much progress we’ve made to date and pushing the company to pass new milestones. In the past 12 months, we launched several new products and services, including live chat in our customer portal, a field engineer tracker, ParkView Server Management, our first-time fix guarantee, and ParkView Network Management. We also completed three acquisitions, including Curvature, SiteGrid’s NetSure+ and Congruity360’s hardware maintenance and data migration business. We are also proud to now offer operations services in more than 170 languages around the globe.
The future is bright for Park Place, and continuing to push the envelope to offer the most comprehensive and helpful suite of products and services to our customers remains our top priority.
How is your industry adapting to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Third-party IT services and solutions are more critical now than ever. Faced with labor shortages, fully remote employees and increased digitalization, Park Place customers count on us to fill gaps and answer questions to help them operate and grow in this unfamiliar environment. There are so many variables and challenges facing internal IT teams today – we will continue to make sure that all our customers’ IT needs are met with convenience and ease to maximize uptime for their organizations and employees.
"Seeing IT take centerstage is empowering. As you can imagine, companies rely more and more on their IT departments to handle critical problems within their organizations. Park Place is an excellent example of this."
What excites you about your work in IT?
Seeing IT take centerstage is empowering. As you can imagine, companies rely more and more on their IT departments to handle critical problems within their organizations. Park Place is an excellent example of this. We were at the forefront of the CIO hiring trend, appointing Michael Cantor to this role in 2018 to oversee IT systems management and strengthen Park Place Technologies’ internal and customer-facing capabilities. But in 2020, shortly after the onset of the pandemic, we named John Parlee as CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) to further improve our company’s own industry-leading security capabilities and proactively address evolving cybersecurity threats to our organization.
About Park Place Technologies
Park Place Technologies is a global IT infrastructure and solutions provider with a unique portfolio of solutions and services designed to streamline the monitoring and management of your digital environment. Our unique DMSO (Discover, Monitor, Support & Optimize) approach increases infrastructure visibility and control by integrating IT management at the hardware, network, OS, and application levels. Park Place’s industry-leading and award-winning services include Park Place Hardware Maintenance™, Park Place Professional Services™, ParkView Managed Services™, Entuity Software ™ and Curvature Hardware sales. Park Place is a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners and GTCR.
For more information, visit www.parkplacetechnologies.com