UPDATE: Since writing the article below I asked Todd Pedersen the following:
What’s the likelihood of Blackstone growing the Vivint HQ outside of Utah?
From my home office I can almost see the Vivint headquarters in Utah Valley’s River Bottoms. I’ve watched with some amazement as this small entrepreneurial start-up has grown into a industry “dominator”–I say that with my best Arnold Schwarzenegger accent. Today’s news of Blackstone’s acquisition of the company for around $2B tops the Josh James/John Pestana Omniture high mark for Utah hi-tech buyouts.
What’s more interesting is that the same guy I see at Golds Gym and in entrepreneurial circles, Todd Pedersen, has served as CEO for Vivint’s entire life. Somehow, he has served as the blazing entrepreneurial catalyst for a new start-up, then matured into a credible large company CEO. During that time he has stayed hugely approachable and focused on community service–that’s my view anyway.
Today’s news raises some questions for me, coming from my background at a Novell acquired and gradually moved out of state. How long will Todd stay on as CEO? With the massive construction under way on its Utah headquarters, how long before the company starts growing outside happy valley? My daughter will be interested in that answer since she’s worked for Todd and Vivint for five summers to pay her way through college.
There is no doubt now that Vivint and Todd now rise in the entrepreneur firmament to top leader status, contributing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars to the state’s economy. Wall Street now sees that, too. Kudos to Todd and other Vivint visionaries. Knowing the strong personalities of both Josh James and Todd Pedersen, perhaps its time for a manly stick-pulling contest for top Utah entrepreneur honors. My money there might be on Todd though. I’ve seen those biceps “workin’ it” at the gym.
Another question I have is why, when BusinessWeek, FoxNews, Bloomberg, and a hundred more Wall Street followers dedicated column inches to this story in a symphony of media relations brilliance, did Todd’s own back yard newspaper, Provo Daily Herald, relegate the story to page B4–opting for Chicago holiday retail soft news for its Business Section front page, Hhmmmm?Share