MINDBODY CEO Rick Stollmeyer is speaking out about what the sale of the business means to the Central Coast.
The software company employs more than a thousand people on the Central Coast and generated earnings of more than $300 million last year. Its sale to Vista Equity Partners was finalized earlier this month for nearly $2 billion, raising concerns from employees and residents alike about what the future might bring.
Seventeen years ago, Stollmeyer saw a need in the tech industry, so he set up a small business in his garage to try and fill it. That home-based business started in his house off Tank Farm Rd. in San Luis Obispo and eventually grew into MINDBODY.
“So we had this early vision of creating a marketplace, meaning that a place where people could come to find the kinds of services and experiences that would help them live healthier happier lives,” Stollmeyer explained.
To fund additional growth and keep up with demand, the company went public. An initial stock offering was made to raise capital. But that meant Stollmeyer and the founders were no longer in charge. Instead, answering to a board of directors.
“My hope was to create something much bigger than me. That’s why my name’s not on it,” Stollmeyer said. “It’s not about me. I wanted something that would sustain for generations, that would do something that really mattered for the world, that’s what kept me engaged for 20 years.”
After some recent volatility in the market and an uncertain future, Stollmeyer and the rest of the board of directors decided it might be worthwhile to see if there was interest in taking MINDBODY private again. He says it wasn’t about him, but rather the company.
“And in speaking as a significant shareholder who has invested 20 years of my life and everything else I had into this company, I felt pretty strongly that it was. Secondly, that it’s setting the company up and the employees and our customers for a brighter future,” he said.
He’s heard the concerns about the sale – questions about layoffs and relocation – and he says neither are true.
“The decision of MINDBODY to have its headquarters in San Luis Obispo has to be predicated on that this is the best place to run the business from, to run this global enterprise that’s serving customers in over 90 countries,” Stollmeyer said. “It is, in my view and in the view of our current shareholders, Vista Equity Partners, the best place to have the company.”
As for layoffs, he says, “Well, we have no plans for employee layoffs. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We are probably, not probably, we are going to accelerate our hiring. We already had significant hiring planned. All you have to do is go to our website and you’ll see how many jobs we have open right now.”
Even the man at the helm won’t be changing. Stollmeyer will continue as MINDBODY’s CEO.
“Well, I just met with them yesterday. Several Vista Equity Partners came to our site here, they spent all day in meetings with me and other senior leaders in the company. They very strongly want me to stay on as CEO.”
Watch the full 30-minute interview with Stollmeyer below: