David Kirkland (re!)joins the Comfy team as Chief of Revenue, leading our global enterprise sales, business development, and customer success teams. As one of Comfy’s original go-to-market leaders, David played a key role in its early-stage venture capital rounds and subsequent acquisition by Siemens, before moving on to lead enterprise sales at WeWork for the last two years. With over fifteen years of sales leadership experience and deep knowledge of the real estate and workplace tech industries, Dave is well-positioned to harness the market’s momentum for Comfy.
We sat down with David (or DK as he’s known here at Comfy) to catch up on his journey from Comfy to WeWork—and back again.
You were one of Comfy’s early (and dare I say, legendary) go-to-market leaders before joining WeWork. What did you take away from your time at WeWork?
My time at WeWork taught me a few things.
First, there is a clear market demand for technology that can both improve the employee experience and deliver opex and capex benefits for employers. There wasn't a single client meeting where we weren’t asked about how WeWork was leveraging tech to improve the employee experience.
It became clear to me that unfortunately the most innovative companies in the world are struggling to find the right partners to execute this vision. Instead of an army of point solutions delivering individual features in a vacuum, to fully maximize their ROI, they need a single, comprehensive technology platform to deliver a better workplace experience. They need a proven and trusted partner that can deliver a holistic experience (for both employees and employers) while remaining vendor agnostic, integrating into existing systems, and providing global support.
Another key learning from my time at WeWork was the importance of hiring and developing talented people that are true culture carriers for your company. I was lucky enough to hire 60 people over a short period of time, and everyone who joined met an incredibly high bar when it came to talent. They were also passionate about the mission and the vision, and were truly “bought in” in every sense of the words. When you have that many people carrying a strong culture, it not only facilitates explosive growth, but it can act as a powerful buffer when times become challenging.
"They need a proven and trusted partner that can deliver a holistic experience (for both employees and employers) while remaining vendor agnostic, integrating into existing systems, and providing global support."
So what compelled you to rejoin the Comfy team?
I made the decision to rejoin Comfy based on two realizations. First, it’s evident how far the product has come. In the last two years, Comfy has truly taken its product beyond smart control of the workplace, incorporating functionality that we always knew would generate economic value for buyers—room and desk booking supported by occupancy sensor integrations, rich analytics to understand better utilization of space—it’s all come to fruition, thanks in large part to the resources, manpower, and vision that the Siemens team has brought to the table.
Secondly, when companies begin to engage on a transformative workplace effort and plan to layer in technology across the board, they need a trusted partner and advisor who’s done it before at scale. In the early days, Comfy was the solution provider, and we did one or two things incredibly well. Today, Comfy is the trusted partner of more Fortune 100 companies than ever before, with its technology deployed at real estate portfolios around the world. As part of Siemens, Comfy is now truly a global partner that can work with enterprises in any vertical and deliver value in any market.
In Comfy, you have an amazing team, with incredible focus and a passion for solving tough, complex problems. This is the core Comfy DNA—and I’m psyched to be back in the fold.
What will your priorities be in your new role?
At a high level, my priorities in the new Chief of Revenue fall into three buckets:
First, we want to fully operationalize and maximize the value of the Comfy and Siemens partnership; how can we work together to bring Comfy to as many current or prospective clients as possible around the globe? Siemens truly has global reach, how do we maximize the impact of that reach? We’ve only scratched the surface in terms of what Siemens truly can deliver as a commercial partner, and that’s one of my key areas of focus.
Our second priority is in building, enabling, and sustaining a best-in-class direct selling team. We want to have folks focused on not just leading accounts, but also actively evangelizing Comfy and Siemens to leading companies around the world.
Third, we must optimize how we support our largest clients globally. If they invest in a partnership with Comfy and Siemens, they expect an unparalleled global level of support. Comfy, as a SaaS company, has invested in customer success and support from the beginning, but I look forward to uplevelling our service at scale in the months to come.
What are you most looking forward to in this new phase of growth for Comfy?
Category creation is something I’ve done throughout my whole career, and it’s something I’m super passionate about, despite how difficult it can be. In my earlier years at Comfy, I helped create a new category when it came to the employee experience. That opportunity is still there, but now we have a chance to do it with a supercharged team at Comfy along with a 370,000-person global team at Siemens. It’s been a while—since my time at General Electric—since I’ve had a company of that pedigree and size behind me and my team. The chance to claim the high ground in the category, with the backing of one of the world’s leading digital infrastructure companies—this is an advantage that no one in the market has.
I’m also incredibly excited to work again with Erica (Comfy’s Chief of Strategy & Operations)—she was a big reason for my coming back and someone with whom I’m thrilled to be in the trenches with again. I’m also excited to work with Daniel (Comfy’s CEO), whom I got to know in the pre-acquisition days, and whose powerful vision led Siemens to make the investment in Comfy. It’s exciting to rejoin old friends and have a chance to work with new folks who bring a lot of exciting energy and expertise to the table.
We’re psyched to have you back on the team, Dave!