Announced first to customers and partners at our Generate 2024 Conference, former COO Max Kelleher will step up to take the reins as CEO with James Kelleher taking the role of President.

To understand Max’s plans as the new CEO of Generis, we asked him some questions around the transition, his priorities, and his vision for the future of the company.

CEO Announcement at Generate 2024

Q: You were COO of Generis for 5 years, why was now the time to make the transition to CEO, and James as President?

“This has been in the works for quite a long time – but it’s not something that you can do overnight. With my experience in operations building out our business over the past 6 years, it was a logical step to keep doing what I’m doing but with more support around me. It takes time to hire or develop the whole leadership team to a point where I know we’re aligned and I can take one hand off the wheel and three more will instantly grab it.”

Senior Leadership Team

Q: Sometimes, a change in leadership can be disruptive to the way an organisation operates – how have you found the transition so far from COO to CEO, what has changed for you, and for Generis?

“The transition has been fantastic – we’re still the same Generis with the same priorities, and the working partnership with James as President has only changed in that I can pull the trigger on some things sooner. We’ve always made strategic decisions together, and we always will. As for my personal changes, I know the buck now stops here, so that means it’s my ultimate responsibility to keep supporting and developing every single person at Generis, all our customers, and all our partners – that’s something I try to wear on my sleeve as much as possible.”

Q: As the former COO, you’ve had a hand in the strategy and direction of Generis for many years, but can you tell us; what are the key initiatives you want to tackle now as CEO?

“Plan -> Communicate -> Implement. This applies across the board; coming from our background as a small company, it’s all about speed, flexibility and customer satisfaction. But we’ve done a lot of that hard work and process-building – in our product we’re technically and conceptually about 5 years ahead of the competition – so now it’s just about keeping that technical lead and further improving quality in everything we do – that requires following those three steps from the smallest conversation to the largest decision.”

Q: Generis has seen resounding success over the last few years with the continued development of the CARA and CARA Life Sciences Platforms. What do you see as the biggest opportunities on the horizon for the organisation?

“Where to start? We have this leap-generation product in the CARA Life Sciences Platform which is already playing a huge role in changing how the companies in Life Sciences not only go about their work but also how they fundamentally structure their companies and processes. We have an enormous opportunity to help top-tier Life Sciences organisations achieve their digital transformation goals, but alongside that we’re now quite easily displacing our siloed competition in the mid-market as well. This year we’re also going to be doubling down outside of Life Sciences and launching even more solutions in Financial Services and Government, battling that regulated content services space that has dearly needed a breath of fresh air for decades.”

Max Kelleher takes the reins as CEO

Q: But of course, no organisation can look ahead see a road without bumps – are there any challenges facing Generis?

“Of course! Growth is a challenge in itself – we have to fight hard to keep our culture as we grow; we’ve said that since Day 1. But also just the processes and structures that we have to keep building in order to support our teams. These are large (but also fun) challenges.”

Q: Like you mentioned previously, Generis has cultivated a culture and vision that it is immensely proud of. Do you plan to put your own stamp on either of these?

“I don’t plan to put my stamp on anything really – we’re all proud of the culture that we all propagate every day, and we’ve been going in the right direction for years now. It’s an unfortunately boring answer of ‘more of the same, but with more horsepower’.”

Q: With a change in leadership, it’s understandable to think that the longer term strategy might look different to what it once was. What is your long-term vision for where you’d like to take Generis?

“James and I have always been working towards the same goal, and that will continue with me as CEO. The CARA Core Platform has very few limits – it’s always been incredibly hard for our sales and marketing teams to try to avoid saying that CARA can basically do anything. But with well-planned intentional moves, we can take the platform up to a well-recognised status in Aerospace, Automotive, Banking, Construction, Engineering, Financial Services etc. within the next 5-7 years. We joke about conquering the world, but it would be awfully boring once we got there. Instead I’ll rest happy when we’re sitting top-right in most industry quadrants, when we’re enabling dozens of other businesses building on CARA, and when we get to announce even more customers like BMS who have been with us for 20 years.”

Team at Generate 2024

Q: Are there any major strategic shifts or new focus areas you foresee?

“Sure – our focus is on efficiency, a nebulous concept, I grant you. But what that means for the product is leading or adapting to new ways of working for our customers. We have to fight tooth and claw to keep pushing the user experience closer to the tools we use in our personal lives, and we have to study and seize opportunities for leveraging new technologies. So it’s more like sailing an ever-growing boat – anticipating those big shifts in the wind, being prepared to react to sudden changes, and taking advantage of the waves we’re riding.”

It’s clear that Max’s top priorities as CEO are to drive operational excellence, foster continued innovation, and expand market reach across new industries, all while ensuring Generis maintains the culture and core values we are all so proud of. With a focus on constantly enhancing user experience with the CARA Platform, Max seems determined to guide Generis toward sustained success in this exciting new chapter.