New Charter Technologies Taps Peter Melby As CEO: Exclusive

New Charter Technologies has tapped Peter Melby as its new CEO while Mitch Morgan, who has headed the company for more than three years, moves to executive chairman of the board.

“I look at it as taking a different seat at the leadership table,” Morgan told CRN in an exclusive interview. “Our growth has been about two-and-a-half times what we expected, and we have achieved all of our objectives with regard to building a company to support that in terms of all the platform elements. We also see the industry opportunity being significant with AI-enabled service delivery and digital transformation. Our industry is pivoting like it never has before, so we look at it like we’re doubling down on leadership and Peter has immense talents.”

Melby has been the CRO of the Denver-based solution provider since 2021 after New Charter, named on CRN’s 2024 MSP Elite 150 list, bought his IT services business Greystone Technology in 2020.

“This is continuing to do what we’ve been doing with me having a little bit more time on my calendar to be able to focus deeper on some of the strategic areas that Peter is going to be driving for the business,” Morgan said.

As executive chairman of the board, Morgan will be focused on specific initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions and business strategy.ADVERTISEMENT

“This business is going to be completely different in 18 to 24 months, powered by technology, including our services to our clients. We can’t afford to miss this one,” he said. “We’re focusing more energy on making sure that we make the turn around the next corner as successful as we can, and we think this is an opportunity for us to widen the lead against the competition.”

Melby assumes his new role on Tuesday at New Charter’s kick-off show in Nashville, Tenn. “When I hand the microphone over to Peter, that’s the moment he becomes CEO,” Morgan said.

As CEO, Melby looks to be a disrupter in the space.

“The most important thing to me, as we look at the macro business, is that we use our scale and our awareness of what’s happening in the industry to be leaders of the disruption, not responders to the disruption,” he told CRN.

Check out CRN’s exclusive interview with Melby about his new role and what’s to come for New Charter.

Peter, what are some of the initial tasks you want to tackle as CEO?

The first thing that it requires is that we’re continuing to run a really solid business. So day one is making sure that we’re making life for our operating leaders as balanced and continually stable as possible so that we can employ the level of innovation and change that we want to throughout this year in the face of digital transformation. Our industry is always changing, but it’s going to change faster and we’re going to change it faster.

As the new CEO, what is the company’s M&A strategy going forward?

M&A for us is not a divide-and-conquer thing. It’s making sure that we continue to bring in the organizations that find the right home. The reason why New Charter has grown two-and-a-half times faster than we anticipated up to this point is not just because we move faster, it’s because we built something that people wanted to be a part of. That is still the cornerstone of our M&A strategy. The people who we want in that room, if we’re the right home for them then they’re the right people for us. We want to continue to make that a natural fit. Our acceleration is going to come through continuing to be the organization that people look at and say, ‘That’s the best place for me, for my employees and for my customers.’

Continuing to evolve and deepen the culture of our leadership room is a huge part of our M&A strategy. As we find people that should be in that room, we get them in that room.

As you transition into the role, what do you think your biggest challenge will be and how do you plan on tackling it?

Within New Charter, we have so much drive, so much passion and, frankly, so many opinions and paths that have gotten us to various points of success. One of the biggest things that we have to get good at as we scale is saying ‘No’ to things that would be good ideas but maybe not necessarily right now. That’s going to be the biggest challenge—not saying ‘Yes’ to all of the exciting things in front of us but getting them methodically prioritized to the point that we can execute and move on to the next one.

Going forward, what would you want more of from your vendors?

The vendors who have been most successful with New Charter are the ones that met us in our early awkwardness where we were a platform that looked very different than the way that they were used to working. They were willing to partner with us in the journey to figure out how to have our cake and eat it too in the sense of we want the entrepreneurial decision-making within our platform but we also want to drive towards commonalities. The vendors that continue to partner extremely well with us are the ones who embrace that rather than try to shoehorn us into a traditional model. I think the way that we’re doing business and the success of it is becoming a little bit more natural and maybe a little bit more familiar, but the way that we’re going to continue to innovate in that will lead to some really great opportunities for vendors. There will also be some opportunities for them to be open to new ideas of how to work. I think that openness, that partnership and looking at this journey over the next few years, not just a point in time for New Charter right now, is key.

Where do the opportunities lie to use AI in New Charter?

The easy AI applications right now are the ones that say, ‘How do we manage tickets faster? How do we get tickets through to completion faster? How do we upskill our people by giving them tools to us?’ That’s definitely a focus of ours. I think the bigger opportunity is how we help the world use AI. We’re in the modernization business. The mark on our success in automation and AI will be in how our customers’ businesses change. IT is not native to changing businesses that deeply, so that’s a lot of where our focus is. It’s making sure we have the skill sets, making sure we’re creating the skill sets and making sure we have the platforms and processes, especially at our scale.

What would you like to see more of in the channel?

I would like to see more focus on the end customer in the channel. It’s really great to find community among other MSPs, it’s also great for the vendors when we have that community because there’s a captive audience for their business transactions. But at the end of the day, it’s the customer that is driving this entire industry. How are we driving change for the businessperson on the street, in our communities? That should be the thing that guides most of our decision-making around what the future looks like.

What are you most excited about as CEO?

My passion for business was to do something that no one else was doing and no one else could do. I’ve always loved to build things, but the biggest passion that I’ve found is building with people. We have to continue to scale and continue to build in those ways, but scaling organizations and building with the people aspect is a significant passion of mine. I’m a simplifier in that I work to not oversimplify but take a big complex world and boil it down to a vision that will take us from this amazing start that we have now through the longevity of what the next couple of decades could look like. That’s going to require continuing to simplify the craziness and chaos that we see out there in the world so that people can consume it.

What can we expect from New Charter throughout the rest of 2024?

We’ve developed a reputation for being the right home for the right MSPs. I think the industry is going to see, much more tangibly, the value that we’re bringing to the MSPs who come on board with New Charter. The frameworks, the toolsets, the lead generation … all the different services and central aspects to this. … New Charter in some ways is mislabeled as a place for companies to go to not change or they just keep doing the same things. It’s not true. They come here to continue to be entrepreneurial but with more support, with more value-add and as part of an engaged team. You’re going to see more specifics about that value that we provide being shared.

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