T2 Systems co-founder to take it easy following 22-year run

October 7, 2016
Mike Simmons, one of T2's co-founders, says he will step down from his position as CEO. (IBJ photo)

After selling the company he helped start in 1994 and stepping down as CEO last week, T2 Systems co-founder Mike Simmons said he plans to focus on board work, angel investing and a few of his hobbies.

The 53-year-old was the longtime CEO of the parking-management-software company, which has more than 1,100 customers worldwide. The San Francisco-based private equity firm Thoma Bravo on Sept. 29 announced its was buying T2 from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Pamlico Capital for an undisclosed price.

After striking the deal, Simmons handed the reins over to Chief Operating Officer Adam Blake.

"I don't know if I see myself going back into another operating role," he said. "And I wouldn't say never, but I don't think that's the path that I'm on."

Simmons, who said he had a "significant minority stake" in the company before the sale, plans to play an advisory role during the transition. He tried to take a step back from the company in 2013, only to be pulled back in to the CEO's post soon after.

"We brought somebody in," he said about the new CEO, "and about six months later we decided we were going to go in a different direction. I was in the chairman's role, and the board asked me to come back in and continue to run the business."

The company has been on a growth tear in recent years. It was one of IBJ's Fast 25 companies in 2015, with a three-year revenue-growth rate of 147 percent, revenue of $60.3 million and 234 employees.

Now that he is out of day-to-day management, Simmons plans to devote more time to angel investing. He already is an investor in a number of local companies, including BoxFox, a surplus inventory marketplace firm, and WebLink International, which produces management software for trade associations.

He's also a shareholder in Sharpen, an enterprise telephony software firm, and Bolstra, which helps companies manage their "customer success" operations.

Simmons sits on the board of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and the Indiana Repertory Theatre. In addition, he recently joined the board of BP3 Global, an Austin, Texas-based provider of business process software.

The longtime Zionsville resident is a classic car enthusiast, owning a couple of 1970s-era and 1980s-era BMWs. He also owns a red 1961 TVR Griffith, a spunky sports car that's one of only 180 ever produced.

He's in the midst of moving to a downtown condominium and said he's working on a "real estate project" that's too early to discuss that's related to housing his vehicles.

"I have to figure out a place to put those cars living downtown," he said.


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