Xconomy.com, Gregory T. Huang 8/30/10
Because of his past, Yuchun Lee is legally barred from certain establishments. Luckily, IBM is not one of them.
Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Unica (NASDAQ: UNCA), the Waltham, MA-based marketing and analytics software firm bought by IBM for $480 million in cash earlier this month. Much has been made of Lee's past experience as a key member of the MIT blackjack team in the 1990s. Not as much has been made of Lee's vision, strategy, and decision-making in leading Unica from its founding in 1992 to its IPO in 2005-setting the stage for one of the bigger tech acquisitions in New England this year.
The company has survived four recessions and three wars over its 18 years. So, this is the story of how Unica went from being a small startup led by three MIT alums to a leading public company focused on selling marketing and analytics software-and a key purchase for IBM in a rapidly evolving business area. Along the way, of course, there were plenty of bumps in the road and important lessons learned.