Mike Long (American businessman)


Mike Long (American businessman)

Mike Long is an American business man, former CEO of several public companies, and currently a founding partner of Sulgrave Partners LLC[1]. He served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Continuum, an Austin, Texas IT consulting company, from 1991 to 1997, having started with Continuum as a Director in 1983.[2] In 1997, Long was named CEO of Healtheon Corporation (now WebMD), succeeding former CEO David Schnell[3]. Long oversaw Healtheon's initial public offering, traveling between Europe and the United States to woo investors. Long was able to secure the required investment funds, and saw Healtheon's stock price rise from $8 to a high of $120.[4] In 2002, Long was recruited to fix the financial struggles of Move, Inc., a company plagued by more than $4 billion in lawsuits and hemorrhaging tens of millions of dollars a quarter. As Chief Executive Officer, Long was able to revive Homestore, Inc., by changing the business model, rebranding the company as Move, Inc. and returning it to profitability.[1] Touching on his experience of bringing about the initial public offerings of web-based businesses, Long would say that investors needed to be presented "with an entirely new face every few months,"[4] and that "the only way to run one of these Silicon Valley companies was to forget everything you'd learned outside of Silicon Valley."[4]

Contents

Continuum (1983-1997)

Long first gained executive experience at Continuum, a "producer of packaged back-office software for insurance companies."[5] He first served as a director, then moved on to become CEO. In order to gain a foothold in the American insurance market, Long focused Continuum on foreign markets. According to Long, "We had to become a global company to become an American one."[5] With Continuum finding success overseas as well as in the United States, it was valued at $1.7 billion and sold to Computer Sciences Corp. Long would stay with the newly combined company for one year.[5]

WebMD (1997-2001)

After leaving Continuum, Long served for four years as the CEO of WebMD. Long sought to bring to fruition the "dream" of WebMD serving as a network that would link "patients, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and pharmacies that would help manage people's health care throughout their lives."[5] Long envisioned cutting $300 billion in waste from the health care industry, but what Long "saw as waste others saw as income."[5] WebMD would meet a lot of resistance from the health care industry, never able to fulfill the vision Long had set out for it. WebMD exists now as an easily accessible encyclopedia of health-related information.[5]

Homestore.com > Move, Inc. (2002-2008)

After his time at WebMD, Long envisioned spending more time with his family. In late 2001 Long was approached with an offer of heading up Homestore.com, a company that had been dealing with accounting difficulties and had seen its stock price tumble.[6] The company had only $40 million on hand, yet was spending $50 million a quarter. To aid in the task of restructuring Homestore, Long would bring with him executives from WebMD and Continuum to serve as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. With morale at Homestore sinking and other companies luring away top talent, Long acted swiftly to halt the losses. On his first day as CEO, Long spoke before 700 Homestore employees in the parking lot outside the company's California headquarters. He spoke candidly about the difficulties the company had endured, and those that were to come. He asked the employees to work with him to reinvigorate the company. Long began his restructuring of Homestore by shedding some of its acquisitions and renegotiating contracts with AOL and Cendant. With the flexibility of the renegotiated contract terms, Long was able to assemble a group of investors that would steer the company toward profitability, instead of bankruptcy. With Homestore on track, Long decided a re-branding was necessary as the name "Homestore.com" had become "associated with fraud and a plummeting stock." Re-branded as Move, Inc., the company would continue to gain more investors and increase its valuation from $19 million to $787 million.[5][7]

Sulgrave Partners LLC (2009 to present)

Mike Long now serves as a Partner at Sulgrave Partners LLC, a business advisory–consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C.[1] He is also Chairman of NEOS Geosolutions, a privately held geosciences technology company, and Chairman of Essence Group Holdings Corporation (EGHC), a privately held managed care and health care information technology business that develops and markets tools and technology supportive of more accountable, patient-centered health care.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Sulgrave Partners - Team", http://www.sulgravepartners.com/team, Accessed 26 April 2009.
  2. ^ http://investing.businessweek.com/businessweek/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=230645&ric=MOVE.O&previousCapId=29538&previousTitle=Move%2C%20Inc.
  3. ^ http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/WebMD-Corporation-Company-History.html
  4. ^ a b c Lewis, Michael. The New New Thing A Silicon Valley Story. Boston: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "How the Directors Brought a Dot-Com Back From the Brink," Corporate Board Member Magazine, January/February 2007.
  6. ^ Evans, Blanche (29 April 2002). "Homestore CEO Mike Long: The First 100 Days". Realty Times. http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20020429_mikelong.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  7. ^ Lashinsky, Adam (2 August 2006). "Homestore cheats the hangman's noose". CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/07/24/8381700/. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 

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