Sparkhound, the Baton Rouge-based digital strategy and consulting firm, has named a new president and made other leadership changes as a part of a structural repositioning to help the company better respond to a changing market.
Jason Lasseigne, who joined the company in 2017 as a managing director and was serving as chief operating officer, has been named president.
The company has also brought in a new chief sales officer, Dan Lynch, who spent nearly 20 years in Texas with HP and its spinoff, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, and will be based out of Sparkhound’s Dallas office.
Sparkhound founder Shawn Usher will continue as CEO.
The changes come as the 23-year-old company is trying to position itself less as an IT services company and more as a strategic consulting firm that delivers business solutions through technology.
Sparkhound will continue to focus in two main areas: digital automation and managed infrastructure but the way it sells those services will be different, Lasseigne says.
“Before, when we would go to a company, we would talk to their CIO or their IT department about their needs,” Lasseigne says “Now, we will talk to the CEO or the director of HR or the CFO to find out more about how we can help them strategically within their department or across departments.”
It’s a way of presenting the company’s services within a new framework and it’s beginning to pay off because it enables Sparkhound to offer more value-added products and services to clients and prospects.
“We’re able to have new discussion and our clients are loving it and they’re saying, ‘We didn’t know you could do that,’” he says. “We’re also finding that as we talk to prospects they’re much quicker in wanting to engage because we’re able to help them with strategy.”
The pandemic and resulting economic shutdown last spring were the catalysts for the change. The shutdown led to a sharp drop in Sparkhound’s business. Revenues immediately fell by 60%. The company tightened its belt and laid off about 15% of its workforce.
But it also took advantage of the downtime to restructure its own internal systems and processes as well as to work on repositioning itself.
In the months since, business has gradually returned and is now almost back to where it was pre-pandemic. The company, which reported revenues in 2020 of around $30 million, has also begun hiring again. Lasseigne expects 2021 to be a growth year.
“We decided early on that we wanted to charge forward rather than hunker down, he says. “Our clients and prospects have already begun to see the benefits of the changes we’ve made, and we are looking forward to 2021 and beyond.”