One of Chicago’s “unicorn” tech companies just hired a new CEO to lead the herd.
SMS Assist, maker of a cloud-based property management platform for businesses, announced Monday that it has hired former Rackspace CEO Taylor Rhodes as its chief executive officer. Rhodes replaces SMS Assist’s outgoing CEO and founder Mike Rothman. Rothman will stay on as chairman of the company.
The move comes almost one year after SMS Assist raised $150 million from Goldman Sachs at a $1 billion valuation, making it the fifth tech company in Chicago to join the unicorn club (private companies valued at $1 billion or more). The others are Uptake, Mu Sigma, ExteNet Systems and Avant.
Rhodes joined cloud computing company Rackspace in 2007 and helped lead the company through its IPO in 2008.
“We are thrilled to welcome Taylor Rhodes to SMS Assist. Taylor’s background as CEO of Rackspace combined technology innovation and operational excellence with a customer-first orientation, a highly complementary fit with the SMS Assist vision and culture,” Christopher Dawe, SMS Assist board member, said in a news release.
“We also want to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments and strategic vision of SMS Assist founder Mike Rothman,” he continued. “Under his leadership, the company led the way in creating a scalable solution that improves quality, transparency and cost across the broader facility management industry.”
SMS Assist launched in 1999 and has raised over $250 million from investors that also include Insight Venture Partners and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. The company’s technology helps property managers maintain multiple buildings by tracking maintenance orders, providing invoicing, automatic service audits and data analysis on properties. It counts Fortune 500 companies such as Family Dollar, JPMorgan Chase, Jones Lang LaSalle and O’Reilly Automotive as customers.
SMS Assist has grown quickly in recent years and now has around 700 employees. Could Rhodes’ hire signal the company may be exploring an IPO? We’ll have to wait and see. SMS Assist did $500 million in annual revenue and is profitable, according to Crain’s.
Images via SMS Assist
Correction: SMS Assist makes of a cloud-based property management platform for businesses, not software, as the story originally stated.