Chattanooga coding, app design company Skuid names new CEO

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Contributed photo / Ryan Niemann

Eight years after starting what has grown into one of Chattanooga’s most successful coding and app design companies, Ken McElrath is stepping aside as chief executive of Skuid to focus on the company’s strategy and future growth.

Skuid, whose name is an acronym for Scalable Kit for User Interface Design, announced Thursday it was hired Ryan Niemann, former CEO of Cirrus Insight, as its new leader to help drive the growth of Skuid and execute its mission. McElrath will transition to a new chief strategy officer role.

As a leading toolkit that helps accelerate the customization of Salesforce app design, development and adoption, Skuid has grown to employ about 100 workers, most of them at the company’s headquarters in downtown Chattanooga.

The company was founded in 2013 “on the simple belief that enterprise apps should stop asking people to behave like machines. Instead, apps should behave more like the humans who use them, so everyone can thrive in the digital world.”

“Our mission at Skuid is to humanize enterprise software,” McElrath said in an announcement of the leadership change. “This leadership expansion and transition will help us accelerate app adoption, innovation and agility across even more organizations around the world. I could not be more stoked for Ryan to join the team, because he brings a broad set of skills and experiences that will make a significant, positive impact for our employees, customers and shareholders.”

In his new role, Ken will continue to lead the R&D teams, including product, software engineering, and technology operations. His work will focus on product innovation, leading new long-term initiatives, and exploring additional growth strategies for the company.

According to recent Gartner research, the low-code development market is projected to total $13.8 billion in 2021, an increase of 22.6% from 2020. Low-and no-code capabilities that support remote work functions, such as digital forms, workflow automation, and digital portals and communities, are projected to be in more demand in the future and Skuid is well positioned to capitalize on that growth, company officials said.

“Our results from 2020 prove that Skuid is solving real problems for customers and that it’s time to scale,” said Dan Dal Degan, the operating executive for Marlin Equity Partners, which acquired a majority ownership of Skuid in 2019. “Expanding our strong leadership team to drive this opportunity forward with haste will help us capitalize on this momentum. Ryan has a demonstrated record of success, the experience needed to help us scale, and matches our cultural values perfectly.”

In the past year, the company has expanded its go-to-market teams and hired a new chief revenue officer, chief financial officer, chief customer officer, vice president of marketing and executive chairman of its board of directors.

“Our customers need agile business systems to innovate and grow in an increasingly complex business, technology and economic environment,” Niemann said.”I am excited to lead an exceptional team of experts and amplify the customer-focused strategies already put in place.

Niemann joins Skuid from Cirrus Insight, one of the largest Salesforce independent software vendors, where he oversaw a merger with Zynbit in August of 2020. He has worked extensively with global systems integrators and partners and is familiar with the Salesforce ecosystem.