By Buckley Smith
London, Ont.-based connectivity technology firm StarTech.com has appointed Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy its new CEO with hopes that recent success becomes a long-term trend.
Smurthwaite-Murphy has been serving as president of StarTech.com for the last two years and the company saw over 40 per cent growth in that time; leading to annual revenues of over $300 million. She takes over from Paul Seed, who co-founded StarTech.com more than 33 years ago and was the company’s CEO, will assume the role of executive chairman and owner.
Smurthwaite-Murphy has a new three-year plan to facilitate further growth, she says.
“I took what I learned about the organization and we worked together as a team to build a growth plan,” said Smurthwaite-Murphy.
The new plan is based around a continued focus on staying connected with the continuously evolving needs of their customer base. Although she points out that those characteristics were already a big part of what StarTech.com does and that is precisely what drew her to the company, where she’s been an executive since 2016.
“After one conversation with the founder I was drawn in. I was hooked. And that is because this company is all about the customer. And the entire model is built around giving them an incredible experience,” said Smurthwaite-Murphy. “We have this tagline we like to say: ‘Your experience is our product’. And I have never seen a company that actually lives that all the way through.”
As CEO, she plans to continue to push a mandate of a customer-centric model, which she says has never been more important than in the ever-evolving world of technology we currently live in.
“The pace of change was always there in our industry. But it has accelerated. And that’s really what feeds the success of our business. Because technology is changing so fast,” Smurthwaite-Murphy said. “You absolutely have to stay relevant and the only way to do that is to stay close to your customer. Every year we see lots of examples of names we all know and love that are no longer here because at some point they failed to stay close to the changing needs of their customers.”
To that end, she says the company has invested heavily in market research and R&D, to stay on top of what is happening in the world of connectivity. One such example is the close relationship StarTech maintains with Intel and large players in chip manufacturing, which she says is vital to ensuring that they can provide exactly what customers need.
“We want to know before these changes hit the market. We have got to be ready. We have to have it when and where our customers need it,” she said. “So that’s very central to our plan. It is really built into our new three-year plan to make sure that we continue to invest in creating innovative value to our customers.”
Smurthwaite-Murphy was previously the senior vice-president of distributor Westcon Group and was featured on CDN’s Top 25 Newsmaker list.