ShapeBlue, the CloudStack company, announced that it has become a 100% employee-owned business: owned by all of its employees for the benefit of all of those employees.
100% of the shareholding of the company is now held by an Employee-Owned Trust (EOT) for the benefit of its staff, whilst the existing leadership team remains in place with no planned changes to the company’s strategy.
The company, with offices in London, Bangalore, Cape Town and Sao Paulo, are the largest independent integrator of CloudStack technologies globally. The move to employee ownership was chosen as a mechanism to protect the company’s long-term mission and their involvement in the Apache CloudStack open-source project as well as distributing the value of the company amongst its team.
Giles Sirett, CEO of ShapeBlue, commented: “I am very proud to be able to say that ShapeBlue is now 100% employee-owned. This guarantees our future as an independent company and allows us to continue to deliver for our customers through our deep involvement in Apache CloudStack.”
Sirett continued: “This change of ownership model does not affect the our growth & technical strategies, service offerings and day-to-day operations– becoming employee-owned does not affect our mission or ambitions as a company. Our leadership team remains unchanged, and I am very much looking forward to leading the company through this next phase of its development. It does, however, change our overall purpose – we are no longer a company that’s ultimate purpose is to make gains for a small group of shareholders. The ultimate power and value in this business has shifted from its shareholders into the hands of the people who generate that value: its employees.”
Employee ownership is one of the fastest-growing corporate ownership models. In the UK alone, there are now more than 1,000 employee-owned businesses, with the sector more than doubling in the past three years.
The fast pace of growth amongst businesses has taken off with the use of the employee ownership trust (EOT), introduced by the UK government in 2014 to encourage long-term employee ownership, and one in every 20 private company sales is now to an EOT, with ShapeBlue joining a network of EOTs in the UK that include Richer Sounds and Go Ape.
James de le Vingne, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), said: “We congratulate ShapeBlue on its transition to employee ownership; securing the ethos, values and culture of the business. Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility, uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose, and leaving businesses in a better position to flex and adapt.”
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