Executive Biographies


Lance Crosby, Esq.

Chief Executive Officer

Lance Crosby is the founder and visionary behind SoftLayer, an IBM Company. He is responsible for managing the overall success and growth of the company. Prior to SoftLayer, Mr. Crosby spent five years with The Planet as chief operations officer where he managed all operations including sales, provisioning, product selection, managed services, application development, engineering, information security, business development, and legal departments. Serving in prior executive management roles at Catalog.com and Dallas Internet, he brings extensive experience in leadership and management skills coupled with extensive technical skills in software and hardware environments. Mr. Crosby holds bachelors' degrees in finance and management, a Master of Science in finance and Master of Business Administration from Tarleton State University, a part of the Texas A&M University System. Mr. Crosby's legal education includes a Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan School of Law. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas and is an active member of the State Bar of Texas.

Tom Blair

Senior Vice President, Global Sales

Mr. Blair joined SoftLayer in November 2010. He directs the company's sales activities, including revenue generation, customer relationship management and retention, business development and sales engineering, as well as channel and alliance partnerships. Prior to joining Softlayer, Mr. Blair served as vice president of global sales and channels at The Planet, as senior vice president for channel sales and strategic alliances at Terremark Worldwide, Inc., and as vice president for worldwide sales and managed services for Data Return Corporation. He was also in sales leadership at Octel Communications and in sales and marketing with Xerox Corporation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and marketing from the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business.

George Karidis

Chief Operations Officer

Mr. Karidis oversees SoftLayer operations and directs its strategic growth. Prior to joining SoftLayer, Mr. Karidis spent seven years with Devonshire Investors where he drove the strategic planning efforts of portfolio companies focused on the telecom, hosting, and software markets. He took active roles in each company from inception through domestic growth and international expansions. Previously, Mr. Karidis led business development for a startup serving the SME market, and spent more than six years with the Yankee Group as an industry analyst covering the telecom and IT sectors. He holds an Honors Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University with majors in finance, accounting, and economics, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Matt Chilek

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Chilek is charged with the design and implementation of the SoftLayer Infrastructure Management System (IMS). Mr. Chilek joined SoftLayer from The Planet, where he was director of product development from January 2003 through May 2005. Prior to The Planet, Mr. Chilek served as senior programmer at Catalog.com, where he managed internal development projects and dedicated customer project managers. Mr. Chilek is proficient in a wide variety of software languages and has worked with an assortment of technology system integrations. Most recently, Mr. Chilek has focused on network systems integration and automation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Texas A&M University.

Francisco Romero

Vice President, Business Analytics

Mr. Romero is responsible for financial planning, financial analysis, pricing, and providing analytical support at SoftLayer. He joined Softlayer in November 2010 after building out the business analytics function at The Planet to support the entire organization. Prior to that, he worked for more than three years in various strategy and business improvement functions at EDS/HP, developing product portfolio strategies and driving margin improvement programs across the outsourcing business unit. Before joining EDS, Mr. Romero worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co., where he was involved multiple projects in operations strategy, margin improvement, business portfolio optimization, and financial analysis. He holds Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the UNAM and a master's degree in materials science and engineering.

Sarah Button

Vice President, Corporate Controller

Before joining SoftLayer, Ms. Button was director of tax at GenBand, a global networking solutions provider, and served as vice president of tax at Stream Global Services. Prior to this, Ms. Button held similar tax positions in the airline service and manufacturing industries, and she has been the corporate controller for a banking software company listed on NASDAQ. She has extensive experience in U.S. and international accounting and tax, acquisitions, divestitures, and international expansion. Ms. Button started her career with Price Waterhouse in the UK and is a member of the Institute of Charted Accountants of England and Wales. She holds a Bachelor of Science (honors) from the University of Wales in geography and archaeology.