BidPal names chief executive to replace Webber

BidPal Inc. has hired an executive with a diverse background in event production, digital media and technology to succeed longtime CEO and tech industry leader Scott Webber.

Steve Johns, who was most recently CEO of Chicago-based Reed Rigging Inc., became BidPal’s CEO in September, the Indianapolis-based fundraising-technology company announced Monday.

Webber, an entrepreneurial force and investor behind several Indianapolis tech companies, quietly stepped down from his role as BidPal’s chief executive in early June. He remains as chairman.

Steve Johns mugSteve Johns

Johns, 51, spent almost four years leading Reed Rigging, which provides production infrastructure (audio, video, lighting, sets, cameras, signage) for concert tours, special events, trade shows, and theater, film and TV productions.

Before his stint at Reed, Johns founded or co-founded several businesses, including Ardesta LLC, a business accelerator for early-stage tech start-ups; Second Wave Music, a music management and promotional company; and Beyond Live, a digital media company involved in concert production.

Prior to that, Johns was an executive at Launch Media in Los Angeles and Gateway Inc. in San Diego South Dakota.

He launched his career with a 10-year stint in various roles at accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP in Chicago.

“BidPal has truly revolutionized charitable fundraising with its technology, and I’m honored to have been selected to lead the company,” Johns said in a written statement. “I look forward to working with BidPal’s amazing team and helping thousands of non-profit organizations fundraise, expand their donor base and raise awareness for their causes.”

BidPal, which uses technology to help not-for-profits run charity auctions, cut its full-time staff from 113 to 84 in July as part of a plan to become more efficient, company officials told IBJ.

Webber said the staff reductions were part of a change in direction at the company, which had been one of the city’s fastest-growing tech firms in recent years.

Interim CEO Rich Rella, who joined BidPal in 2008 as a consultant and became chief financial officer in 2009, will retain his title as CFO.

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