Applause, the worldwide leader in enabling digital quality, today announced the appointment of Chris Malone to Chief Executive Officer. Malone joined Applause in 2013, previously serving as President and Chief Financial Officer, and will continue as a member of the company’s board of directors. Malone succeeds Applause’s former CEO and Founder, Doron Reuveni, who will now serve as Executive Chairman of the company’s board of directors.
During his tenure, Malone has been instrumental in Applause’s growth, having been responsible for the company’s global operations, as well as financial and strategic management. He has also taken Applause through multiple rounds of financing with leading investors, such as Goldman Sachs and Accenture, and stewarded the company through its acquisition by Vista Equity Partners in 2017. Malone has a long and successful track record in scaling global businesses, having held leadership roles in both public and private companies, and managed global books of business exceeding $1 billion in revenue.
“I am honored to be Applause’s next CEO,” said Malone. “I want to thank Doron for his leadership and contributions to Applause, and I am excited to lead the company and build on the strong foundation Doron established. We remain committed to enabling our customers to deliver exceptional digital experiences – at speed and scale. We will continue to accelerate our customers’ ability to lead their respective industries through our unequalled ability to deliver real-world insights into the quality of their digital assets.”
Since founding Applause (formerly uTest) in 2007, Reuveni led the creation of the crowdtesting market and solidified Applause’s position as the market leader – leading the company through thirteen consecutive years of growth since its inception. Although the idea of “in-the-wild” software testing was a radical notion when Applause was founded, today it has become an integral part of the software development process for thousands of enterprises worldwide. Reuveni’s leadership has made him an internationally recognized expert in software development, testing, and entrepreneurship. He will continue to bring these experiences to bear as Executive Chairman.
“When I founded Applause, I was trying to solve a problem in the market that no one was able to address. I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past thirteen years, and it has been a privilege to lead Applause through this robust period of growth and profitability,” said Reuveni. “Chris’ past experience, both at other organizations and at Applause, will ensure that the company carries on addressing the complex digital quality needs of the world’s most influential brands. Applause could not be in more capable hands.”
“Chris has been instrumental to Applause’s success. We have all realized the benefits of his outstanding mix of strategic and operational experience, and we have full confidence that Applause will continue to scale under his leadership,” said Kim Eaton, Managing Director at Vista Equity Partners and member of the Applause board of directors. “As the worldwide leader in digital quality, Applause has a tremendous growth opportunity in serving the needs of digital-first organizations. We’re grateful to continue our partnership with Doron as Executive Chairman, and we’re excited to see what Chris and the team will achieve.”
This announcement closely follows a period of significant growth for Applause. The company’s remote, distributed testing model proved vital to its customers, especially during the global pandemic when enterprises were responding to real-time changes in how to engage with customers digitally. Applause’s flexible and scalable model not only served as a growth driver for the business, but also led to an all-time-high net promoter score, the leading indicator of customer health and satisfaction. “I am proud of how Applause has been able to help our customers address some of the most challenging problems in today’s increasingly digital-first world,” said Malone. “I look forward to continuing to support our clients in achieving their digital strategies, as drivers of business growth.”
Prior to joining Applause, Malone held a number of senior leadership roles across finance, sales and operations. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Babson College. Chris currently serves as chairman of Babson’s College Advisory Board, and will be joining the college’s Board of Trustees later this year.