GeekWire Podcast: Qualtrics CEO Zig Serafin on the new era of work, acquisitions, and growth

Zig Serafin is CEO of Qualtrics, which leased what’s now known as Qualtrics Tower in downtown Seattle in 2019. (Skanska Image / Qualtrics Photo)

This week on the GeekWire Podcast: How the pandemic is changing attitudes toward work, jobs, and geography. Plus, the market for IPOs and acquisitions, and the future of downtown Seattle from the perspective of a newly public company.

Our guest, Zig Serafin, has a unique window into all of these topics as the CEO of Qualtrics, the experience management technology company based in Seattle and Provo, Utah. Qualtrics’ technology helps companies survey employees, customers and others, and take action on the resulting insights.

“COVID created this new reality where everything came to a halt, and people wanted to live differently,” Serafin said.

For example, 35% of 14,000 workers surveyed by Qualtrics are thinking about leaving their jobs in 2022, according to the company’s report on employee experience trends for the upcoming year. Some say that being required to go back into the office full-time would be a factor in their decision to look for a new job.

Qualtrics had an eventful 2021. The company went public in January as a spinout from enterprise tech giant SAP, which had acquired Qualtrics for $8 billion two years before that, right before Qualtrics was slated to go public as an independent company. Qualtrics’ market value was just under $19 billion as of this week.

The company has made a series of acquisitions since going public, including Seattle-based marketing software startup Usermind; Reston, Va.-based conversational analytics company Clarabridge; and Boise-based healthcare analytics company SurveyVitals. It’s part of an especially busy year for M&A across the tech industry.

Qualtrics has about 800 employees in Seattle, and 25 offices globally. Some of its Seattle employees have started working in Qualtric Tower, the new downtown Seattle building where the company signed a lease in September 2019.

Listen above, and subscribe to GeekWire in Apple Podcasts, SpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or wherever you listen.

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Produced and edited by Curt Milton. Theme music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

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