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Building an Ambitious SaaS Company: Taleo CEO Michael Gregoire (Part 1)

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 12th 2008

In our Enterprise 3.0 coverage, I bring you, next, a conversation with Michael Gregoire, CEO of Taleo (Nasdaq: TLEO). Taleo had 2007 sales of $128 Million, and a market cap of close to $500 Million. In this case-study, we will do a deep-dive into the company’s business with Michael.

SM: Let’s start by reviewing your background. Where are you from? MG: I grew up in a small blue-collar town in Canada. I went to Wilfrid Laurier University which is in Ontario, and earned a bachelor’s degree in physics.

SM: Where did you start your career after college? MG: I began working in research and development for EDS, focusing on distributed systems. Afterwards, I did an MBA.
In a very short amount of time I had come to the realization that being a good technologist is nice, but if I wanted to see products evolve into the market place, I needed to have a better understanding of how business works and how to manage people. After my MBA I returned to Canada and led a very large project for EDS.

SM: What project was that? MG: It was working with the communication hubs for assembly plants. There used to be 38 GM assembly plants, I was the lead architect and project manager for the installation of a system for which we connected IBM mainframes and multiple variants of UNIX platforms with robotics systems. This was long before the MQ series, and long before UNIX sockets and TCP/IP became popular. We were writing device drivers to enable large mainframe data to be distributed down to a plant floor computer; it powered vision systems, and controlled robotics that would pick engine cradles and move them.

SM: You are a very hands-on, technical person. MG: I was very hands on technically in that project, yes. I did most of the architecture work myself. I wrote the first few versions of our TCP/IP stack.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Building an Ambitious SaaS Company: Taleo CEO Michael Gregoire
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