The CEO Behind Zoom Video's Meteoric Rise - 7investing
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The CEO Behind Zoom Video’s Meteoric Rise

August 21, 2021

There were a lot of executives who have done a good job this year. But I’m giving my vote to Zoom Video Communications’ (Nasdaq: ZM) Eric Yuan as my “CEO of the Year” for 2021.

Zoom’s ascent has been legendary. Founded just ten years ago, it found itself as the most popular and in-demand company of 2020’s COVID pandemic. Suddenly, millions of employees were forced to work remotely, and they depended on Zoom to get plugged in with their employers.

Yuan responded to the crisis admirably. Zoom invested heavily in infrastructure and prioritized customer satisfaction. This is, of course, perfectly aligned with Yuan’s ethos of always placing customers first — which was the whole reason he left Cisco and started the company in the first place.

Aside from a few disruptions out of the gate, customers remained loyal to Zoom. It’s incredible ease-of-user and excellent response-times to customer support issues have made the overall experience for many employees fairly seamless.

It shows in the numbers as well. Top-line revenue shot through the roof in 2020. Yet even after picking the low-hanging fruit of the pandemic, it still managed to grow sales 88% last quarter.

Its customers are happy, too. Net-based dollar retention — a metric that reports how much existing customers paid this year as compared to last — has been greater than 130% for twelve consecutive quarters. Zoom sports 4 ½ stars from nearly 40,000 customer reviews on G2 and has a reported Net Promoter Score of 62 on CustomerGuru.

And Yuan is well-loved as well. He sports a 97% approval rating on Glassdoor, where 88% of employees would recommend working at Zoom to a friend.

 

With his business hitting a new level and now armed with a high-flying stock price, Yuan is going shopping. Zoom’s $14.7 billion acquisition of Five9 extends its reach to the call center — where it will impart by osmosis its own customer-satisfaction ethos to its own customers as well.

Zoom’s user interface is simple and intuitive, yet is also embedded with significant switching costs. The enterprise world — heavily dependent on ecosystems built by Oracle or Microsoft — is embracing Zoom as an independent company that is laser-focused on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

I think Yuan is leading a global movement here, and that he will continue to serve as the visionary innovator of the teleconferencing and customer service industries.

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