Leaseweb USA is proud to announce Richard Copeland as the new CEO!
He receives a well-deserved promotion after being with Leaseweb for nine years – most recently as Sales Director for the USA. Richard’s passion for the industry and considerable experience make him the perfect fit for the position. Whilst outgoing USA CEO Lex Boost will surely be missed, Con Zwinkels, founder and CEO of Leaseweb Global, is confident that Richard has what it takes to take the US business to its next level of growth. “Richard is an exceptional leader who has deep knowledge of our business,” says Con, “and has built an impressive career understanding and meeting the unique needs of customers.”
Humble beginnings and hard work
Richard’s journey to becoming CEO began in 1996 at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science. After school, he secured a spot in the management training program of a printed circuit board company and got his hands dirty building circuit boards. “So, I utilized the chemistry side of my degree, analyzing the chemistry base that the circuit board went into,” he explains. It wasn’t long before he went into production management and worked his way up to process engineering. By the end of his 7-year tenure at the company, Richard was working in the sales department as customer technical support.
“When I left that circuit board company, I got into more of the arena that we’re in – telecoms sales – and I started working at MCI, which became Verizon Business,” he explains. First, Richard began honing his sales skills, selling everything from colocation to MPLS. Then, as cloud technology grew, Richard transitioned into selling what he saw as a promising new technology.
Richard’s Leaseweb experience: accelerated growth
As his family grew, Richard longed for a job closer to home and came across Leaseweb USA. He saw it as an opportunity to start afresh and learn new skills in the tech industry. “I left a managerial role and returned to an individual contributor role, and that was how I got into Leaseweb. From there, things just skyrocketed,” he says.
“Leaseweb has given me the opportunity to accelerate my growth. When I came to Leaseweb, it was a smaller company in the US, so I was maybe the twelfth employee. Now we’re at almost 80 employees. As the Sales Director, I built a sales team from one person to the departments that we have today of not just sales but inside sales, outside sales, account management, contract management, presales, and customer success management. So, it’s been rewarding not just to come here and grow myself individually, but to also grow others and get the opportunity to be a part of acquiring other companies.”
The space to grow has stood out to Richard about Leaseweb and made him want to stay. “I can honestly say that, outside of marriage and having kids, this is one of the best decisions I’ve made to come and work for this company. I always tell people that if you come here and you have an idea, you can absolutely have the opportunity to present it. And if it doesn’t get implemented, don’t be discouraged. There may be a time that it gets to that point, but at least you’ve been heard. You can continue to have these conversations to broaden your ability to think and look at the bigger picture as opposed to just individualized tasks that you’ve been given as a role that you must perform. You can be strategic and help the company succeed and get better.”
Preparing for his new role as CEO
Richard’s 25 years in tech sales have given him a deep understanding of the customer’s needs and equipped him for the CEO role. However, he recognizes that he hasn’t achieved this alone. “Working with the outgoing CEO closely over the past eight and a half years has also helped tremendously in preparing me for this role,” he says. “The way my parents raised me has definitely molded me into who I am today. The values of working hard, dedication, and passion for the job. I was taught to be the hardest working person in the room, not just to work hard but to work smart.”
Moving forward, Richard aims to continue to lead by example, but he also highlights the importance of listening as a leader. “Even though I’m a leader, I can learn from my employees. We can learn from each other. Putting people in positions where they can be creative and learn and grow has helped me to learn and grow. So, we want to create a work hard, play hard environment where we’re also having fun and building genuine relationships while also getting things done.”
What Richard looks forward to
Building on what his predecessor established and achieving his own goals for the company are evidently passion points for Richard. “I want to see us doubling and tripling our revenues, but above all, I want us to aspire for excellence. I want to utilize the unique skillsets of every individual in this company so we can take Leaseweb USA to the next level.”
Inserting himself into new facets of the business is something Richard sees as an exciting opportunity to learn new skills. This includes working with the management team, who were his peers previously, in a new capacity. “I’m going to lean on them for their experience because they’ve done a marvelous job at helping us get to this point, so I’m looking forward to continuing to develop that team atmosphere.”
Read the press release here.