UpstreamRE, LLC, the broker-owned company responsible for the Upstream data management solution, announced today that Alex Lange has been named president and CEO, effective June 1. Lange is the first employee to be hired for the highly-anticipated initiative.
“It’s such an incredible opportunity to move away from a competitive mindset and come together to create more time, resources and capacity for innovation,” said Lange during an interview for the forthcoming June cover story of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine. “Together, as an industry, we can build more compelling ways to serve our clients.”
In his role, Lange will work with the Upstream™ board of managers to ensure that the organization has a well-articulated, long-range strategy in addition to a successful initial launch. A primary task will be to monitor the operational and technical work of Upstream’s vendor, Realtors Property Resource (RPR), and ensure that software development, testing and implementation remain on schedule. He will establish working relationships and cooperative arrangements with all stakeholders, including brokers and agents, MLSs, vendors and partnering organizations.
“Alex is passionate about the potential of Upstream™ to streamline data management in our industry,” said Pam O’Connor, president and CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and the leader of the Upstream™ CEO search committee. “He has all the attributes we were seeking – a solid grounding in technology, successful start-up experience, a deep understanding of the various constituents, strong communication and consensus-building skills, and the strategic mindset that can shape this initiative well beyond initial implementation.”
“Volunteers have moved this project from an idea to something tangible,” said Robert Moline, president of HomeServices of America, CEO of its Brokerage Division and chairman of the Upstream™ board of managers. “That is a remarkable feat, considering the team members all have demanding positions in large organizations. The addition of any staff member would increase what we would be able to accomplish, but to have someone with the vision, talent, and experience of Alex Lange has everyone especially excited about the possibilities that can be realized under of his leadership.”
“Imagine the possibilities when every stakeholder in an industry works together to create efficiencies, allow participants to distribute deliberately and creates more capacity for innovation,” said Lange. “I’m both excited and humbled to lead this charge and create massive value across the board.”
A graduate of Harvard’s General Management Program, Lange got his start in technology in the U.S. Army before entering the private sector as managing partner of IKON Technology Services, where he worked with major e-commerce sites, business-to-business development for major corporate partners, data warehousing for Hewlett Packard and other significant enterprises and Intranet systems.
Lange co-founded and served as chief technology officer for Roost.com, a successful social marketing platform which raised more than $12 million in venture capital and was recognized for its innovative new technology ultimately being acquired by Vertical Response. He later served as chief technology officer at Market Leader, a SaaS solutions (CRM, websites, print marketing, etc.) for real estate professionals, where he played a key role in building it from a $40 million market cap company that he joined to a $380 million acquisition by Trulia less than four years later. While at Market Leader, Alex was included in the Global Top 1,000 Chief Technology Officers (Bloomberg, S&P, The Global Leaders).
Most recently, Lange served as “entrepreneur in residence” and operating partner of Second Century Ventures – the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) – where he identified, evaluated and executed strategic investments and coached existing portfolio companies to increase value.
NAR CEO Dale Stinton commented, “We are excited and proud that Alex has been chosen to lead the Upstream™ initiative. His knowledge and experience, particularly working for NAR and Second Century Ventures these past two years, will serve him well as we move forward.”
Craig Cheatham, president and CEO of The Realty Alliance and the Upstream officer who has been filling the administrative role pending hiring of the CEO, shared his insights: “Alex is a builder and a problem solver. Upstream™ is the perfect project for his skills and experiences and this opportunity comes at the perfect time to serve as the culmination of his career and success. Brokers, agents, vendors and MLSs can look forward to a great partner in Alex.”
The Upstream™ Technology Work Group that has been liaising with Upstream’s vendor also is optimistic about Lange’s hiring. Their representative, Cary Sylvester, vice president of industry development at Keller Williams International, who also served on the Search Committee, had this to say: “Upstream’s founders have been searching for an innovative leader who has the strategic skills, technical knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit to make the concept a reality – and we found that in Alex.”
The nationwide search process for Upstream’s CEO, which utilized the services of Orlando-based Corporate Management Advisors, began in earnest in January. In addition to Cheatham, O’Connor and Sylvester, the Search Committee included Steve Baird, Baird & Warner, Chicago; Rick Haase, Latter & Blum ERA, New Orleans; and Bill Riss, Coldwell-Banker Bain, Seattle. A number of very qualified candidates were considered for the position, with Lange being the top pick.