From running a marathon to leading a tech company – Surveypal’s new CEO was determined to join the right firm

Surveypal’s CEO Tom Toivonen was looking for new challenges in a company with a great product and a competent staff. In this post he explains why he joined Surveypal.

I am Surveypal’s new CEO, Tom Toivonen. I joined the team on May 23rd.

My 14 year old professional relationship with Microsoft came to an end in January. After working for an international tech giant I wanted to transition to a Finnish company, in which I could take advantage of my strengths: assertive leadership and sales growth in technology markets.

Over the past few months, I was in contact with several companies. Finally, as it usually happens in life, a set of coincidences led me to cross paths with Surveypal.

After some discussion, we reached to the decision that I will focus on sales growth, thus allowing Surveypal’s founder Samuli Zetterberg to concentrate on leading the product development process.

A good leader allows individuals to develop their own strengths and through that process adds value to the organization. The combined skill set of the entire team is strengthened when employees are praised for their good work and, if the need arises, are propelled to do even better. A leader also needs to be assertive: whatever it is that we do, we must do it properly.

I believe it pays off to work from wherever it makes the most sense. Sometimes it’s in the office, sometimes alongside the customer, sometimes somewhere else. Accomplishments are more important than office hours or work location. I want to make sure that everybody at Surveypal has access to the right kind of tools that make work more effective and flexible.

I like sports. I am quite slow, so I mostly go for endurance sports. A long career in the hectic technology industry requires the same kind of reflection it takes to prepare for running long distances. When pondering a significant career move, like the one I have now made, it’s worth considering whether to move straight away to the next challenge or take a breath in-between.

I decided to take a small break for a while to spend time with my family and pursue my hobbies. But, in the end, I found exactly what I was looking for.

Surveypal already has a great product and skilled staff. The next step is growth.