PE-backed Lithium Technologies appoints Hess as new CEO

Lithium Technologies, a portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners, has named Pete Hess as CEO. Hess is the former CEO of Advent Software. San Francisco-based Lithium Technologies is a provider of online community and social media management products.


February 02, 2018 11:04 AM Eastern Standard Time

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lithium, the market leader in online community and social media management products, announces that Pete Hess has been named CEO as successor to Rob Tarkoff.

Hess joins as the former CEO of Advent Software where he led the organization through a sustained period of growth, culminating in the acquisition of the company in 2015. Following the acquisition, he has served Vista Equity Partners as a Senior Advisor and member of the Lithium Board of Directors. He is no stranger to Lithium as he worked with the company as an early adopter of online communities.

“This is a special day for me as I have admired this company and Rob Tarkoff’s leadership for many years. Rob and I have worked together since my time at Advent, where he served on our board, and when he and Vista approached me for this opportunity, I jumped at the chance,” Hess said. “With Vista’s backing, a strong customer base and new products coming this year, this is an exciting time to be at Lithium. Our mission is to help the world’s best brands connect with customers, anytime, across digital channels to answer their questions, solve problems, and provide great experiences that keep them coming back. We are uniquely placed to deliver on that promise with a comprehensive engagement platform that will transform the Digital Customer Experience for our customers, and their customers alike.“

“We are delighted that Pete will join Lithium as CEO in the quest to become the leading Digital Customer Experience company,” said Alan Cline, Co-Head of the Vista Foundation Fund and Lithium Board Member. “Pete’s strong history of leading high performing teams and his long-standing belief in the importance of customer-centric innovation make him a great choice for Chief Executive as we continue to grow the business and deliver on our customers’ needs.”

Tarkoff commented “After almost six and a half years running Lithium, it is the right time for the next leader to join this business. I am confident that Pete will lead Lithium well and represent the values we have created as a business with our customers and as an employer.”

Hess joins as the company quickly expands its footprint in the market following the recent acquisition of Jive Software’s external community business. Lithium has taken home a string of accolades in recent months, being named a leader in the Forrester Wave for Social Media Management Solutions, and receiving the Top Places to Work award from the Austin American-Statesman.

About Lithium:
Lithium delivers awesome digital customer experiences at scale for the world’s biggest brands including Airbnb, AT&T and Sephora.

Comprising Social Media Management and Communities, the Lithium engagement platform enables brands to manage multiple digital touchpoints, facilitate millions of conversations, and drive smarter decisions through data – connecting customers, content and conversations at the right digital moment.

Lithium has a massive digital footprint with approximately 480 million new digital interactions analyzed daily, 100 million monthly visitors across its Online Communities, and 850 million online profiles scored through Klout.

Learn more at, join our community at, or follow us on Twitter @LithiumTech. Lithium is based in San Francisco.

The Lithium® logo is a registered Service Mark of Lithium Technologies. All other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.

About Vista Equity Partners:
Vista Equity Partners, a U.S.-based investment firm with offices in Austin, San Francisco, Chicago, and Oakland with more than $31 billion in cumulative capital commitments, currently invests in software, data and technology-enabled organizations led by world-class management teams with long-term perspective.

Vista is a value-added investor, contributing professional expertise and multi-level support towards companies realizing their full potential. Vista’s investment approach is anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions, and proven management techniques that yield flexibility and opportunity in private equity investing. For more information, please visit