Vess Johnson has been CEO of four technology companies and has 17 years experience in the engineering and energy markets, with particular expertise in start-ups and turnarounds.
Johnson’s key areas of expertise include business continuity and sustainability. He specializes in leveraging strategic alliances to deliver increased stability and improved overall performance. As a strategic thinker, negotiator and consensus-building leader, Johnson has a strong track record in orchestrating and managing VC start-ups, business consolidations, acquisitions, turnarounds, and leveraged buyouts. He has worked in companies ranging from venture-backed start-ups to publicly traded companies and has successfully raised millions of dollars from venture capital and private equity firms.
Johnson excels at building and directing high-performance management teams. His hands-on leadership has added millions of dollars to top and bottom lines, developing and executing market growth strategies to take organizations to the next level. His experience includes all aspects of operations including supporting engineering, sales and marketing companies within the electronics, semiconductor, software and energy markets. He has published articles related to business and technology, and participated on industry panels.
Johnson currently serves as a Research Analyst at the Center for Decision and Information Technologies, University of North Texas, a position he has held since 2011. From 2008 to 2011 he was President and CEO of XyEnergy Management Systems Inc., a start-up company delivering automation systems for residential and small-scale commercial markets. His achievements included restructuring the company, expanding into new territories and increasing the overall market presence, which resulted in year-to-year growth of 150% in 2009. The company was ultimately acquired by Lone Star Composites.
As President and CEO at SemiSouth Laboratories, Johnson restructured manufacturing and engineering operations to achieve 147% in sales growth with 68% increase in sales conversion rates. He saw product yields increase 40% within the first three months and made annual savings of $12 million by rebuilding customer relationships into collaborative partnerships.
Prior to this, between 2004 and 2007 Johnson was President and CEO of Nascentric Inc., where he managed all aspects of operations. He negotiated $11 million in funding as a result of crafting a strategic business plan. The company was acquired by Cadence Design Systems Inc.
Working as General Manager at Magma Design Automation, Johnson oversaw operations for Silicon Correlation Division and had full P&L responsibility. By leveraging corporate resources and market position he saw the division’s sales targets exceeded by 50%. From 1998 to 2003 he was President and CEO of Silicon Metrics Corporation where he orchestrated the company’s acquisition by Magma Design Automation. He previously held the role of President and CEO at Omniview Design Automation from 1996.
Johnson was educated at Mississippi State University, where he was awarded an M.S. in Computer Science, a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Mathematics. He currently serves on the board of Logic Refinery Inc. He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University and of the Industry Advisory Board for the Computer Science Department at Texas State University, and acts in an advisory capacity to infiniRel Inc. and the Mississippi State University Entrepreneurship Center.