Ulf Zetterberg, the co-founder and long-term CEO of legal AI pioneer Seal Software, has moved from his role to become Executive Vice-Chairman of the company after a period of rapid growth, acquisition of Apogee Legal, major investment and important partnerships with companies such as DocuSign.
Zetterberg’s day-to-day CEO role will now be taken on by John O’Melia, who has already been at the company a couple of years. The co-founder of the company will now focus on customer success and partnership building.
Fellow co-founder of the 250-person company, Kevin Gidney, will remain in his key CTO role. Jim Wagner will become President of the company. Previously he was CSO and before that head of Apogee Legal.
The moves come after more than nine years of growth at Seal, which is one of the oldest, if not the oldest legal AI company in the market with a focus on doc analysis. It’s also one of the largest. It’s also always had a focus on corporates, rather than law firms.
They have managed to grow in this sometimes challenging environment by taking an enterprise software approach, working to meet the company-wide software standards that global corporates demand. Over the years they have bagged numerous global clients with major doc review and analysis needs, including: PayPal, SalesForce, Bosch, Dell, and Experian, to name a few.
Zetterberg told Artificial Lawyer: ‘As we build the company you make changes and this is a natural next step. This will be a seamless transition. Like this Seal can take the next step [in its growth].’
O’Melia added: ‘We have over 250 people today and we need operational excellence. I hope that I bring that to the table. We also want to evolve our sales organisation as well as the product.’
Zetterberg went on to say that he did not expect the company to take another nine years to grow by 250 more staff. And more rapid growth does seem likely, given the investment from DocuSign and its partnerships with the esignature company and others.
He explained that the future of Seal was very much about engagement with its partners. As they grew and made use of their and other technology, Seal would in turn grow.
‘It’s all about building an ecosystem. You grow with the customers,’ Zetterberg concluded.
And that sounds like great advice from a successful business leader in the legal tech sector.