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Announcing Our New CEO and Board Member

Kazoo News 2 min read

Today, Kazooligans are welcoming new leadership: Patrick Manzo is coming aboard as the new CEO, and industry veteran Bret Starr is joining our board of directors, while wishing a fond farewell to former CEO Paul Pellman.


Reflecting on Paul Pellman’s legacy

Kazoo CEO Paul PellmanAfter 3-plus years at the helm of the leading employee experience platform, Pellman has announced his retirement. A former Google executive, Paul was named CEO in 2018 of the newly formed Kazoo (the combination of YouEarnedIt and HighGround – two market leaders in the HR technology industry).

During his tenure, Pellman grew the company to be a significant force in the highly dynamic and fast-growing segment focused on improving the lives of employees at work. He also led the business through the development of the mid-market’s most robust employee experience platform.

The reason I came to Kazoo was to be part of a product that delivers a better employee experience across so many companies, and I’m proud of the work we did over the last three-plus years.

“The reason I came to Kazoo was to be part of a product that delivers a better employee experience across so many companies, and I’m proud of the work we did over the last three-plus years,” said Pellman. “The Kazoo culture and the ‘Kazooligans’ is also something I’m incredibly thankful for and will miss the most. As we look to the future, I’m excited to see the impact Kazoo will continue to have and how the business will grow under Patrick’s leadership.”

New CEO Patrick Manzo praised his predecessor, saying, “During his time at Kazoo, Paul led the team to create a standout employee experience platform with year-over-year business growth.”


Meet new CEO Patrick Manzo

Patrick Manzo headshot, CEO of KazooManzo comes to Kazoo after spending the last three years at Skillsoft, where he most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer. Over his career, Manzo has led global teams operating across sales, customer success, pricing, data privacy, and security.

As a former US Naval Officer and a licensed attorney, Manzo is a mission-driven leader focused on team development, a disciplined management operating system, and a culture of ownership. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Boston College. With almost twenty years of experience in the HR tech space, Manzo’s background will be pivotal as Kazoo continues to scale and expand its platform and customer base. 

“I was fortunate to use Kazoo at my previous company and witnessed first hand its positive impact on overall employee engagement,” Manzo said. “As I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about Kazoo over the past few weeks, I’m excited to get to work, growing the business while helping our customers create a world-class employee experience.”


Meet new board member Bret Starr

Bret Starr headshotWe’ve also appointed industry veteran Bret Starr, founder & CEO of The Starr Conspiracy, to our board of directors. Starr is (pun intended) a star in the field, and his vast knowledge of the HR technology industry will be a considerable asset for Kazoo as we continue our strategic growth.

This segment of the market is very hot right now, and Kazoo is poised to lead the way with their unique combination of capabilities focused on putting the employee first.

“I’ve known the team at Kazoo for some time and have been watching from the sidelines. Now I’m excited to join the board to help guide the company’s future growth,” said Starr. “This segment of the market is very hot right now, and Kazoo is poised to lead the way with their unique combination of capabilities focused on putting the employee first.”


Learn more about Kazoo

At Kazoo, we’re passionate about bringing together all the tools you need to make work better for everyone. That’s why the Kazoo Employee Experience Platform brings performance management and recognition and rewards — including Goals, Feedback, Conversations, Recognition, Incentives, and now even more — into one simple, easy-to-use platform.

If you’re ready to align, connect, and engage your workplace, check out our Kazoo overview. Or, schedule a personalized demo today.

Learn more