David McVeigh, the former executive vice president for global business sales at industry research and advisory firm Gartner, has been named chief executive officer of Axiom, an alternative legal services provider that specializes in high-caliber, on-demand legal talent.
McVeigh succeeds Elena Donio, who had been CEO since 2016, taking over in that job from Mark Harris, who cofounded the company in 2000 and recruited Donio to succeed him. Donio will remain with the company as a member of its board of directors.
(See my LawNext interview with Mark Harris for an in-depth look back at Axiom’s history and development.)
McVeigh is joining the company to help drive the next phase of its growth, according to a statement put out by Axiom. The statement describes him as having “a customer-centric perspective and a proven track record of driving profitable revenue growth across a wide variety of industries, with notable experience in technology and tech-enabled products.
At Gartner, McVeigh was a member of the company’s operating committee and led a global sales organization responsible for $650 million in revenue of subscription-based research and advisory services. Prior to moving to Gartner in 2015, McVeigh was a managing director at private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, an operating partner at investment firm The Blackstone Group, and a partner at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead Axiom into its next chapter of growth,” McVeigh said in a statement provided by the company. “Axiom is a true innovator in the industry – providing clients with a third choice beyond sending work to law firms or adding more full-time employees to their in-house department.”
During Donio’s tenure as CEO, Axiom underwent a number of major changes. In February 2019, the company revealed that it was preparing for an initial public offering and that, at the same time, it had spun off two parts of the company as separate entities.
One of those spin-offs, Knowable, took machine-learning technology developed at Axiom to help companies better understand their contracts. It also took Axiom’s two founders, Mark Harris as CEO and Alec Guettel as chief financial officer.
The other spin-off, Axiom Managed Services, later rebranded as Factor, is a managed services company that provides a combination of legal skill with process efficiency and tech-enablement. In January, Factor named as its CEO Varun Mehta, who had worked in the legal technology industry since 2008, when he helped found the Clutch Group, an e-discovery managed services firm, and served as its executive vice president and CRO.
Later, Axiom abandoned plans for the IPO and instead said it had entered into an agreement with private equity firm Permira under which a company backed by Permira would take a significant investment in Axiom.
“Axiom is ready to take the industry by storm,” outdoing CEO Donio said in a statement. “We’re now well-positioned to crack into new types of legal work, add breadth and depth to our network of legal talent, and see the potential unearthed by our investment in technology.”