Two young sons bouncing up and down on Rick Perreault’s bed had become a comforting sight for the tech CEO over this past spring.
“They're, like, my world,” said the leader of Vancouver’s Unbounce Marketing Solutions Inc.
“I was spending a lot of time with them and I just reflected a lot.”
Even more time spent with his four-year-old and a six-year-old became an increasingly appealing prospect after Perreault took a leave of absence in February in anticipation of a May surgery to treat his prostate cancer.
“I started playing scenarios through my head,” he said about this year’s recovery.
That’s when Perreault began contemplating the possibility he might not return full time to the company he co-founded.
“When I had a follow-up after surgery, [the doctor] said, ‘You know, the chances of the cancer coming back isn't zero. But the less stress you have in your life, the closer we can get it there,’” he recalled.
“So that, for me, was just a big trigger.”
Perreault, now cancer-free, officially stepped away on Tuesday from the CEO role he’s held since Unbounce’s founding in 2009. He now serves as executive chairman of the board.
Unbounce is best known for developing platforms that allow marketers to create landing pages without having to invest in their own web developers.
The company raised $52 million in a 2020 funding round led by Denver-based private equity firm Crest Rock Partner, upon which chief revenue officer Felicia Bochicchio was promoted to president.
She remains as a steady hand to guide Unbounce as its new CEO after working as the go-to decision-maker for the tech company since Perreault’s leave of absence earlier this year.
“When I met Rick in 2013, he became a mentor for me. And he's always been a mentor for me as we've been working together since 2018,” said Bochicchio, who cut her teeth as a Vancouver tech executive at Bench Accounting Inc. and Active Network LLC.
“Rick is always a call away.”
She said the pandemic has shaken up much of how the tech marketing industry worked prior to the pandemic and Unbounce is well-positioned to help thousands of small businesses.
“We've always had business growth and we've always been solving problems for marketers,” said Bochicchio.
“We knew that we could still be able to carry that vision forward. So … it couldn't really be more exciting in terms of our vision and our strategy.”
Perreault said the board, which includes him, his co-founders and two partners from Crest Rock, was supportive of Bochicchio’s appointment to CEO the entire time.
“In my absence [she] basically ran the company, and continues to do so and the company is in really good shape right now,” he said.
“Sometimes life happens and … I'd like people who read this to hopefully go, ‘Hey, I've got a problem, too, and maybe it's OK I just step aside for a while or do something different.’”