Next Growth Stage for Benefitfocus

Next Stage of Growth for Benefitfocus

After serving as CEO of Benefitfocus for more than 17 years, I was very excited to announce yesterday that our President and Chief Operating Officer, Ray August, has been promoted to CEO effective January 1, 2018. This is another major milestone and accomplishment for our growing company.

After the announcement, I took a moment to share the news with our associates in a company email. As an extension of our company, I’d like to share a copy of that email and my personal thoughts with you, the biggest and most powerful community in all of benefits. The Benefitfocus Community.

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Hey folks,

This afternoon I had the great pleasure of announcing via a press release that Ray August has been promoted to the role of CEO effective January 1, 2018.

First, I’d like to congratulate Ray and let everyone know how excited I am for the next stage of growth here at Benefitfocus. As many of you know, Ray joined the company as Chief Operating Officer in 2014 and was promoted to President in April 2015. I am really proud of our operational and financial performance during the last three years with his partnership, and I know that he is well prepared to lead the company.

As a founder, and our first CEO, it has always been my goal to grow the company to be a large public company with an industry-leading software platform. Creating a deep management team that is capable of running our company, and a next generation CEO who can lead them, has been a personal goal of mine over the years. To announce that we have arrived at this latest milestone is so rewarding.

When I recruited Ray to join Benefitfocus in 2014, I knew that he was uniquely qualified to have a significant impact on the growth of our company. Prior to joining our team, Ray was the President and General Manager of the $3 billion financial services division of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and was a Group Vice President and CTO at Great Plains Software before CSC. Having worked with Ray these past three years, it’s clear he’s ready to serve as our next CEO.

One by-product of reaching this significant point in our company’s development will be the ability for me to spend the bulk of my time on my passion for developing new technologies, new products and advancing our platform. With Ray and the team leading our business forward, I’ll be able to do deep research on topics such as artificial intelligence, voice technologies, bots and data science.

I can imagine the day when a person on our platform speaks into their phone and has a chat bot enroll them in their benefits via our API. I can imagine our artificial intelligence engine dynamically building a personalized benefits bundle tailored to a family based on their health and wealth. There is so much more that we can build, and this next chapter will be our best yet.

My earliest notes on the idea that has become Benefitfocus are in my journal from May 26, 1995. It took five years to incubate that idea into a startup that we launched on June 6, 2000. I always knew the company would grow and be significant in many ways. I always wanted it to outgrow the need for any one person to be so critical to its success. Today is one of the proudest days of my career.

Not many people get to be part of a startup, or an IPO, or a growing profitable public company with the industry’s largest customer base. To be on the team through all of that and see it become an even larger company with new leadership, and still be able to dream big dreams while developing a platform of this scale, is awe-inspiring.

Thank you again to Ray for your partnership. And, thank you all for the amazing work you do to serve each other and our customers. I love being your associate.

As I think about our progress as a company, we still have a long runway ahead of us. We operate in a massive industry, with over $1.6 trillion in annual health care spend. There is no question that with the inherent momentum in our platform, strength of our leadership team and size of our community, we’ll continue to reshape the landscape of a multi-trillion dollar industry.

We’re just getting started,


P.S. A photo of my 1995 journal is above. Write your ideas down and keep them. They may take a while to develop but stick with it.


Shawn Arthur Jenkins

Co-Founder & CEO

Benefitfocus – All Your Benefits. One Place.®