Wayne Willis Biographical Profile
See also http://www.linkedin.com/in/waynewillis for a detailed list of assignments, dates, etc.
Wayne started his career after graduating in the mid-1970s from the Yale Law School and the Yale Graduate School, with degrees in law and business.
Two years later, after a legal clerkship with the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and a year practicing corporate law in a leading California law firm, Wayne returned to his business roots by co-founding, with his law school classmate Joel Hyatt, the successful network of legal clinics — Hyatt Legal Services.
At Hyatt, Wayne served in several roles — operations, administration, finance, training and “legal systems” — which was the process engineering and technology behind the low-cost structure of the company. The firm grew to be the second largest law firm in the world in seven years, to over 200 offices in 23 states.
In 1990, Wayne sold his interest in the firm and invested in a small telecommunications firm in Cleveland, Voice-Tel Enterprises, and as President, he led the growth of the company from $3m in revenues to over $60m in 4 years, including internationally, setting the stage for the successful sale of the company to Premiere Technologies (NASDAQ: PTEK) for $216m.
During his tenure at Voice-Tel, Wayne also led the establishment of the Voice-Tel Network, a proprietary network that interconnected over 1oo voicemail nodes around the world.
Since 1996, Wayne has invested in, advised, managed, acquired, divested, or directed (from the Board of Directors) literally dozens of companies, most of them “network-service-based” companies of the sort supported by Nodal Partners. Representative projects/assignments:
* Healthscribe – Interim CEO and Chairman, 1998-99. Series A Investor. As Interim CEO, raised $10m Series B. Recruited permanent management team. Company continued to grow and eventually sold to a George Soros’ entity at modest profit.
* FaxNet – Vice Chair of the Board, 1996-99. Joined with the management team in late ’99 to prepare for the sale of the company to Critical Path (NASDAQ: CPTH) for $200m at Closing. Continued thereafter on Critical Path Advisory Board.
* GE Logisticom – Interim CEO, 1998, of a subsidiary of General Electric during the evaluation and due diligence of the unit for acquisition by the Beacon Group, New York.
* Ditto.com – CEO of this VC-backed “visual search engine” from peak of early 2000 to rapid morphing of strategy and successful sale of the company in early 2001.
* Cyracom – Executive Chairman for 2002, establishing profitable operations, recruiting a strong CEO and serving as Chair thereafter. Company has organically grown from $3m in revenues to the second largest company, by revenues, in the over-the-phone interpretation market.
* BeNotified – Chairman and CEO, 2003-04. Lead investor. Unsuccessful turnaround of this telecoms software development company. Company folded in 2004. This was a “pure technology” company, not a services-based company, and Wayne has vowed to “stick to what he knows” — namely, services.
* AVG (NYSE:AVG) – Adviser to the Board, 2005-2009. AVG is the 4th largest anti-virus software company in the world.
* Vidtel – Investor, interim CFO — assisted founder with the initial financing, development and launch of a successful video-calling and video conferencing network. 2008-09.
Wayne has also represented and advised many companies on fundraising, acquisition, sale or balance sheet restructuring, most of whom shall remain nameless owing to confidentiality agreements.