After $104M Round, Fuze Names New CEO, Shifts Co-Founder to Chairman

Eight days after Fuze announced a $104 million funding round, the Boston-area communications software firm has replaced its founding CEO.

Steve Kokinos, who co-founded Fuze in 2005, will now serve as executive chairman. The company has appointed Colin Doherty as CEO, according to an announcement Thursday.

Fuze’s other founder, Derek Yoo, will remain the company’s chief technology officer, a spokeswoman said.

Doherty has spent more than two decades in the tech industry, including nearly a decade running various companies, according to his LinkedIn profile. Most recently, he was the CEO of Dyn, a Manchester, NH-based Internet infrastructure firm acquired by Oracle last fall. Before that, Doherty ran BTI Systems, Arbor Networks, and Mangrove Systems.

“To help drive the next phase of the company’s growth, we wanted to find someone with great operational experience, a proven track record of leading companies of our size through growth and successful outcomes, and most importantly, a leader who would fit the Fuze culture,” Kokinos (pictured above) said in a prepared statement.

Fuze, which provides cloud-based business communications software, has made a series of executive hires in recent months. Those include appointing Brian Day as chief financial officer, Mary Good as chief people officer, Laurie Harrison as general counsel, and David Johnson to lead services and support.

The company was previously called ThinkingPhones. About a year ago, it became known as Fuze, the same name as a San Francisco-based firm ThinkingPhones acquired in 2015.

Fuze is eyeing an initial public offering, perhaps in 2018, Kokinos said earlier this month.

But it’s not certain how things will play out. The market for tech IPOs has been weak, and few Boston-area tech firms have gone public in the past couple of years. It’s just speculation on our part, but perhaps Fuze will end up selling itself to a larger company instead.

Either way, Fuze’s size (over 700 employees) and venture capital haul ($304 million total) makes it one of the local tech companies worth watching.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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