SOURCE: The Nerdery

The Nerdery

January 12, 2016 09:11 ET

The Nerdery Promotes Tom O'Neill to CEO

About The Nerdery

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - January 12, 2016) -  Nerdery co-founders Mike Derheim and Mike Schmidt have informed their staff of nearly 500 Nerds of their decision to promote Tom O'Neill from his position as Nerdery President to CEO of the custom software design and development company, effective immediately.

"Throughout this incredible journey that we've been on, faith in our core value of 'Win by empowering people' has been an integral part of what's made The Nerdery successful," said Mike Derheim at The Nerdery's all-staff meeting. "From starting The Nerdery, growing it, leading it, and little-by-little, having the faith to let go of leadership duties as other leaders have emerged and grown. These empowered leaders, as Co-Presidents, have grown the company and built this place that I am so proud of -- everyone from newbs to vets to Nerd leaders and the executive committee. Not the least of all, consider Tom O'Neill. Tom became President two years ago because that's essentially the job he was already doing. We all put our faith in Tom and his team, and that faith has been rewarded. It's a constant in our history that faith in the right people leads to success. So today, Mike and I take what we feel is our natural next step -- and something that we've been working towards for many years. The ultimate act of faith, in our minds, is to turn over control of this amazing company to the person we feel is best equipped to lead it into the future. Today, Tom O'Neill will move from his current job as President, to his new role as CEO."

Tom O'Neill joined The Nerdery as a programmer in 2004 and soon became a cultural leader. He launched our Chicago branch as VP of Software Development and returned to Minneapolis as our COO. In 2013 O'Neill became The Nerdery's first President since co-founder Luke passed passed away in 2010. O'Neill gave a TEDx Talk in 2014 that he titled, "Willful Ignorance – Never Tell Me the Odds" in which Tom makes the case that facts are not constructive when they keep people from tackling big challenges that could make a bigger difference.

"I'm humbled and grateful for this opportunity, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of The Nerds for their part in building something truly special," said O'Neill. "We will succeed as long as I'm able to keep surrounding myself with Nerds who are smarter than me."

"Tom is ready now for his next challenge, and Mike and I are ready to give him this new opportunity," said Nerdery co-founder Mike Schmidt. "We think that The Nerdery is ready for Tom as CEO. Much like when Tom became President, he's been in a position to have been essentially doing this job for some time now. Tom has established himself as the vocal and visible leader of an awesome team of Nerds -- and he is just as committed as Mike and I are to our vision of being the best place in the world for nerds to work."

Mike Schmidt and Mike Derheim will retain their leadership positions on The Nerdery's Board.

"We're leaving our day to day duties here, but are in no way taking our eye off the ball," said Schmidt. "Mike Derheim will remain Chairman of the Board, and I'll take a new title as Vice Chairman. We will both relinquish our titles of CEO and CIO."

"We're making huge investments in the future success and evolution of The Nerdery -- not just the new offices, better facilities but we're exploring new capabilities and services that will further contribute to the sort of culture of innovation our clients have come to depend on to collaboratively to solve complex business problems," said O'Neill. "These investments bring growth opportunities for all Nerds, just like I've been given growth opportunities through my career here at The Nerdery."

"I'm blessed with an incredible leadership team to help me make the most of this opportunity," said O'Neill. "I know that this opportunity is more than a promotion -- it's the acknowledgement of the work of the amazing team I have behind me. Through the challenges of growth, the opportunities of innovation, risks that paid off big, and experiments that failed, it's our team that has built the confidence and trust in Mike and Mike to give me this opportunity. "

The Nerdery is a custom software design and development company built on the belief that passionate nerds are the driving force behind business breakthroughs, redefining what's possible through technology. Headquartered in the Twin Cities, The Nerdery has offices in Chicago, Kansas City and Phoenix. Founded by three programming pioneers in 2003, The Nerdery is professional home of about 500 software engineers, UX designers, QA engineers and other Nerds. The Nerdery has made Inc. Magazine's list of fastest growing private companies each year since becoming eligible and appeared on multiple top workplace lists. Through The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, volunteer web pros have donated about $6 million in pro bono services to 175 nonprofits in communities where Nerds live and work. In 2013 The Nerdery won a BOLD Award from the Association for Corporate Growth for embracing a culture of distributed leadership, articulated by the late Luke Bucklin, Nerdery President and co-founder: "Put your business card on the desk in front of you...This card does not define you. You are a Co-President. You are bigger than your defined role... Play your part -- transcend your job title, be a hero." Watch Nerdery co-founder Mike Derheim's TEDx Talk, titled "What if everyone at your company was a Co-President?"

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