LogMeIn has made its last pass at doing business under its current name, now that the Boston software firm’s private equity owners have rebranded the company as GoTo.
From now on, all the company’s remote connectivity software will be grouped under the GoToConnect brand, or a newly launched group aimed at IT support called GoToResolve. The company has already started a marketing campaign to get the word out.
Chief executive Mike Kohlsdorf is betting that the widespread acceptance of remote work brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay.
“LogMeIn was at the forefront of this,” Kohlsdorf said. “We’ve sold solutions for years that literally enabled that move to remote work being extraordinarily effective.”
The name change takes effect immediately. But in many ways, it has been six years in the making, amid a series of corporate shifts and maneuvers. First, in 2016, LogMeIn management unveiled plans to take control of the larger GoTo group, then a part of Citrix, through an unusually structured merger. Citrix, pressured by activist investor Elliott Management, had decided to spin off GoTo. Then, in 2019, LogMeIn chose to rebrand its communications and collaboration products under the GoTo name, including the newly acquired Jive Communications.
And in late 2019, the then-publicly traded LogMeIn accepted a $4.3 billion deal to be purchased by private equity firms Francisco Partners and Elliott affiliate Evergreen Coast Capital. (Coincidentally, Citrix announced on Monday that it would be sold to Evergreen and Vista Equity Partners.)
During the two years after LogMeIn was acquired, chief executive Bill Wagner assembled a far-flung group of direct reports. For the most part, Wagner’s new C-suite hires continued to work in different states rather than move to Boston. Meanwhile, Wagner decided to cut the physical footprint of his company’s Boston headquarters in half, preparing for a long-term run as a “remote-centric” business. Also under Wagner’s watch, LogMeIn decided in December to carve out the LastPass password management business into a separate company.
But then Wagner left suddenly last month, and was replaced by Mike Kohlsdorf, president at Francisco Partners Consulting and a LogMeIn board member. Kohlsdorf will continue the remote-work theme: While Wagner has been based in Boston, Kohlsdorf will remain based in Atlanta, although he estimates he’ll spend nearly 40 percent of his time in Boston. This will be the seventh Francisco Partners portfolio company that Kohlsdorf has run.
Revenue at GoTo will likely exceed $1 billion a year. Going forward, GoTo will have more than 3,000 employees, including about 400 in New England, and a smaller subset based out of Boston. That total number excludes the roughly 350 who work for LastPass, now a separate business owned by Francisco and Evergreen. Kohlsdorf is also temporarily serving as the interim CEO of LastPass. (LogMeIn will remain as the legal name of the holding company for both GoTo and LastPass for now, although the name will be gone from an external perspective.)
Kohlsdorf said he decided to drop the LogMeIn brand in favor of GoTo’s “off the chart recognition.”
The rebranding is about investing for the future, not making more cost cuts, Kohlsdorf said.
“A lot of PE firms cut expenses and hope for the best,” Kohlsdorf said. “We don’t do that. We realize valuations come from the employees and the product. That’s why we’re making such huge investments.”