Former Qualtrics sales executive joins AI-focused startup, Forethought
Forethought, leading AI startup for customer support, announced the appointment of Dan Watkins as President. The two-year-old AI company and 2018 Disrupt Battlefield winner signed sales and operational expert Watkins to lead go-to-market, talent, operations, and customer experience.
A highly experienced executive, Watkins joins Forethought after 13 years at Qualtrics, where he most recently served as VP of Sales, overseeing product sales in the Americas and research services globally. His efforts helped lead Qualtrics from a basement to SAP’s $8B acquisition. Separately, Watkins serves as Chairman of the Board for Databased, an up-and-coming sales engine evaluator.
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“Watching Forethought’s Agatha in action, I immediately recognized the brilliance of co-founders, Deon Nicholas and Sami Ghoche (honored on the coveted 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list). The demand for AI exists in every part of business. Forethought’s Agatha meets that demand,” said Watkins,
“We’re just getting started,” said Deon Nicholas, co-founder and CEO of Forethought. “Dan is a proven business leader and go-to-market visionary. I’m incredibly excited to welcome Dan and transform AI and customer support together.” Watkins joins Forethought during a period of rapid momentum and expects employee headcount to triple in 2020. Last year, Forethought launched with tech giants including Gusto, Carta, MasterClass, and other Fortune 500 companies.
“The goal is simple: scale Forethought and revolutionize what we know AI can be,” Watkins notes.
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“We’re thrilled to have Dan join the Forethought leadership team—he is a valuable addition and a great compliment to Deon and the team,” said Pete Sonsini, NEA general partner and Forethought board member. “Dan’s experience advancing Qualtrics will help propel Forethought as they continue to grow their leading AI platform.”
Forethought is assisting during the COVID-19 global pandemic; providing free access to recently launched Agatha Deflections, a tool to automatically respond to support tickets, until June 1, 2020 to help teams in need. As support tickets continue to increase and escalate throughout the crisis, Agatha’s capabilities support customers and enterprises worldwide.
“In these uncertain times, essential businesses are seeing unprecedented support loads,” said Deon Nicholas, “Financial institutions, supermarkets, healthcare providers, and governments are turning to AI to maintain and increase efficiency despite massive shifts in work. We’re fortunate to be part of the solution during an otherwise chaotic period.”
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