Cultivating a leadership team with prowess and dexterity is always a challenge; maintaining it over the long-term is even harder. And importantly, a world-class leadership team can never be manufactured or coerced.
To function effectively, certain “non-negotiables” must always be aspired to:
- HUMILITY ….. all for one & one for all; out of the spotlight
- BEING PRESENT ….. accessible; responsive; aware; competent; current
- TRUSTWORTHINESS ….. being real; believable; genuine
- COMMITMENT ….. having conviction; belief; decisive; having a plan; doing what it takes
- PASSION ….. empathetic; emotional; honest; caring; non-judgmental
QLess is committed to fostering these leadership qualities, without exception. We are a team of one. Our dedication to “walking the talk” will never waver. We are motivated by our palpable devotion to the human condition, which inspires everything we do as a company. When you work with QLess, you know you’re getting not only quality and experience, but also unbridled integrity.
Meet the leadership team that embodies our values.
Kevin Grauman – President & CEO
Kevin is no stranger to the startup world — he brings with him a proven track record as a successful US-based executive leader and groundbreaking entrepreneur who has founded, financed, grown, and sold several innovative companies in the services, SaaS and consulting arenas.
Kevin has also held successful executive operating and advisory roles in strategy, delivery, technology, marketing and channel development, as a “hired gun” for tier-1 venture capitalists, growth equity firms and executive leadership teams.
Kevin’s passions and focus are towards exciting and paradigm-shifting business opportunities that have the potential to change the way that business is done forever … and with meaningful human impact.
Standout work has won Kevin recognition as one of the “100 Superstars of HR Outsourcing in the USA” by HRO Today Magazine. Additionally, his high performance leadership at the helm of The Outsource Group led the company to the #1 position on the prestigious INC500 list, as the fastest growing company in the USA.
Kevin is also the recipient of the prominent Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, is a published author, regularly provides expert business insights to the US venture capital community, and is regularly sought by media, pundits, analysts and business owners for his counsel on all things startup and human capital related.
Culturally, Kevin is an operating leader – he is happiest rolling up his sleeves and directly participating in solving challenges … collaboratively, with purpose and with business impact. He is not interested in “politic-ing” … ever! He is organized, demanding, precise … but fair, relying on competent partners, good ideas, and unselfish efforts. His primary motivations are demonstrating and achieving excellence, engendering high-degrees of trust, being “present”, and exhibiting honest empathy.
Kevin hails from South Africa, is a university post-graduate, he is married, has two college-aged sons, and he lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a passion for people dynamics; is fueled by intelligent, principled and defensible debate; is a lover of family, travel, red wine, single-malt scotch and golf (although, not necessarily in that order).
Armen Jamkotchian – SVP Technology
Armen is an experienced software engineering leader with a proven track record of creating advanced software solutions in a variety of sectors within the business world. He has developed software systems for such companies as MySpace, TwinSpires.com, Fandango, and Green Dot Corporation before joining QLess. Upon arriving at QLess, he rebuilt the entire Engineering team, forging a vibrant and productive unit.
Armen’s numerous achievements as a software engineer demonstrate his expertise in the field. He is known for his success in managing and mentoring large teams. His proactive, result-oriented approach allows him to produce highly robust transactional enterprise applications and services. During his time at Green Dot Corporation, he was awarded the CEO Award for leading the implementation of its first generation of BaaS (Banking as a Service) platform.
Creating vision is one of Armen’s passions; he loves to identify new and promising opportunities and to motivate his team to bring that vision to life. Armen is a hands-on leader, directing each stage of the software development lifecycle to completion. He is also committed to architecting highly available, reliable, scalable, and cost-effective software solutions.
Armen is truly a world traveler, having received his education in Armenia before relocating to work in California. He currently resides in Glendale, CA.
Charlie Meyer – SVP Enterprise Sales & Business Development
Charlie leads the North American sales team, which is responsible for all aspects of sales and leads a team that demonstrates the business value and fit of QLess’ software solutions. With more than 20 years of sales leadership experience in enterprise and SaaS software, Charlie brings a wealth of sales and leadership guidance to the growing company and market. He also possesses a talent for evangelizing new technologies.
Prior to QLess, Charlie has held the position of VP of Sales at several start-up companies and successfully grew them from birth to acquisition. He is known for his success in the acquisition of Professional Photographers into software and web-based selling solutions, as well as for acquiring large, B2B deals.
Charlie’s colleagues and associates know him as a consummate sales professional with a unique ability to build a team. He’s renowned for inspiring his team members to hard work and strategic thinking, earning confidence and loyalty from all who work with and for him. His team spirit allows him to get results every time, delivering creative and innovative solutions.
Charlie graduated from the University of South Dakota with a BA degree in Business Administration. Charlie resides in Denver, CO with his family and enjoys golf, and boating in his spare time.
“When standing in line, I only hate the people in front of me. Everyone behind me is cool.”
Said Malikov – SVP Finance and Operations
Said is a diversely experienced finance executive with strong expertise in Big4 audit procedures and challenging M&A environments. Despite Said’s accounting background and CPA credential, his passion is in establishing professionally managed environments, implementing best in class practices and managing strategic initiatives to build stable “all-weather ready” entities.
His passion for data-driven analysis and business excellence made him join Deloitte audit practice, where he enjoyed observing operations of the US largest and successful corporations as well as the most unique and innovative start-ups. These experiences taught him that with proper preparation, a strong team can achieve any goal.
Before joining Qless, Said participated in a $100+ million international M&A deal, where he was one out of three investment banker associates deployed on the project. He played a crucial role in generating audit reports, ensuring timeline for due diligence processes, implementing new KPI’s structure, and establishing and maintaining a “no-surprise environment.” His swiftly obtained institutional knowledge was also helpful during post-merger integrations, where he oversaw ERP implementation as well as served as an intermediary between various business units.
Said is a believer in the importance of strong partnership and synergy opportunities. A creative approach to solve problems often includes working collaboratively with people that are experts in their respective areas. His career motto is learning from the best whenever possible, so no time is wasted to reinvent the wheel. He enjoys fast-paced environments and highly values accountability, honesty, and transparency in all aspects of his work.
Said moved to the US in his late teens and rapidly learned English to achieve his dreams. He holds a BS in Accounting from CSUN and a CPA certificate, and he is trilingual. He is married and currently resides in Los Angeles. His hobbies include traveling, snowboarding, biking, and solving puzzles.
Michael Pliha — VP Revenue Operations
Mike brings an impressive track record of scaling sales and marketing teams, at growth stage SaaS start-ups, to QLess. His combination of experience in leadership roles, direct sales, marketing, and implementing business applications supports QLess’s journey to becoming a world-class organization. He is driven by automating both the go-to-market and customer journeys to provide his colleagues with integrated systems and processes so they can focus on executing a fantastic customer experience for QLess customers.
Mike is the definition of a self-starter and can be trusted to calmly handle all environments, and a large workload, in a professional manner. It is data that drives his management decisions and his ability to define, measure, analyze, improve, and control new processes supports QLess’s mission to exceed corporate objectives.
Mike strongly believes in delivering exceptional customer delight, regardless of context or complexity. He has a keen ability to understand each stakeholder’s needs through an empathetic lens, with the primary goal being to create a frictionless experience.
Before joining QLess in 2016, Mike attended San Francisco State University, and thereafter initiated a successful technology career working for top tier SaaS organizations for over a decade.
Mike and his wife Kathryn enjoy living in Southern California with their young son, Ben. In his free time, Mike loves spending time with his family at the beach, golfing with his friends and listening to music at local small venues.
Victor Angel - Managing Director - European Operations
Victor is an experienced and tireless leader with a palpable entrepreneurial spirit. He is able to effectively leverage his more than 20-year experience In the European information technology and telecommunications sectors.
Victor has a particular passion for the customer-journey, and is easily able to translate a wish-list into a creative executable and impactful plan for QLess’s customers. He consistently wears his heart on his sleeve, is highly empathetic, and deferentially analytical, but with just the right dose of humility.
Victor Is a proven leader who is open-minded and resourceful, able to quickly hone in on the primary objectives, craft a plan, and to collaboratively energize his team to execute. He has been described by many as both trusting and trustful, fully understanding that both traits are earned.
Victor joined the QLess team as the European Managing Director in 2009, and he has become the “go to” expert resource for our international team members and partners, well able to coordinate large multi-national deployments at scale.
Victor is a passionate advocate for “mind body health”, believing that its pursuit greatly enhances the human condition, both individually and relationship-wise. As a well sought-after Yoga instructor and a Gestalt therapist, Victor is passionate about enhancing individual consciousness and mindfulness, thereby eliminating emotional roadblocks.
Victor was born in the Spanish town of Barcelona, and he adores the city. He lives with his family, partner and two young daughters. Victor graduated from the International University of Barcelona with a Bachelor in Business Administration. He is an avid trail runner, mountain biker, snowboarder and kite-surfer. He is a lover of music — any genre — and regularly attends concerts. You will always be able to coax him into watching a good movie, or sharing a bottle of wine, a spicy meal, or a cup of traditionally-steeped Japanese green tea.
John Brock - VP International Sales
Known affectionately as the elder statesman of QLess, John Brock has been with the company for 9 years. John joined the team in 2011 as the Global Head of Sales, in which he was responsible for developing the infrastructure for the sales organization. He now oversees its International Sales Operations & Customer Retention division. He brings to the table over 40 years of senior leadership, sales management, strategy development and selling business solutions in the human capital and the telecommunications industry.
Prior to joining the QLess family, John spent 20 years with DBM, a leading HR consulting firm. Under his leadership, his team generated a record $47M in revenue in 2009. Some of his greatest successes at DBM include winning multi million dollar projects with Dell, HP, Intel, and Boeing. Prior to his career with DBM, John was a senior manager with AT&T where he developed and managed a $67M business in the Philadelphia area. During his successful career with AT&T, he was responsible for the development and implementation of the consultative sales training for the 6,000 member sales team. In addition, John led the development and national implementation of a certification program for AT&T’s sales force.
John’s career is a labor of love; he is dedicated to helping others. Because he is focused on making sure his business provides the greatest value for the highest number of people, he has a keen eye for problem solving. For instance, he is especially proud of his accomplishment in helping the NHLPA develop and implement a career transition service for retiring players, helping to ease the transition during that stage of life.
A loyal Californian, John received his education from the University of Southern California and California State University, Fresno. He’s an avid 49ers fan — if there’s a home game going on, you’ll know to find him at the stadium! Despite his personal loss in being recently widowed, he continues to enjoy golf and travel. One of his favorite destinations is Puerto Vallarta.