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Accela Names New CEO Months After Big Private Equity Deal

Noam Reininger takes over the gov tech firm, knows for its permitting, licensing and code enforcement software. The move comes after a second private equity firm invested strategically in Accela, reflecting a larger industry trend.

Closeup of a handshake superimposed over people walking in a hallway in an office building.
Months after taking on a second private equity investor, government technology firm Accela has a new CEO.

Noam Reininger takes over from Gary Kovacs, who is retiring as CEO after five years, says the company, known for its permitting, licensing, code enforcement and other types of software.

Reininger was president of facilities management company ServiceChannel for nearly two years before taking this new job. His experience also includes nearly five years at Gordian, a business and construction management company that deals with local and state governments, among other organizations.

Reininger’s jobs there included chief product officer and chief data officer. He oversaw the company’s gov tech software and innovation portfolio, he told Government Technology via an email interview.

In September, Accela said it had taken a “strategic growth investment” from private equity firm Francisco Partners. Previous investor Berkshire Partners remains involved with Accela; that private equity firm bought Accela in 2017.

The new investment stood out as among the most significant gov tech deals of late 2023, and reflects the growing attractiveness of gov tech to private equity.

“Noam’s impressive background in successfully leading and scaling technology initiatives makes him an ideal choice to steer Accela towards future growth,” said Jon Nuger, managing director at Berkshire Partners, in a statement.

As Reininger described it in the email interview, Accela’s growth strategy over the next 12 to 18 months involves migrating on-premise customers to the cloud; building off its high customer service ratings by selling “additional solutions into our current accounts” and other methods; and expanding products and services.

“We believe that by expanding our portfolio, we can provide more value to our existing customer base and attract new clients seeking innovative solutions,” he wrote. “This approach allows us to cross-sell and upsell to our happy customer base as well as attract new customers, further strengthening our position in the market.”

When asked if Accela planned any significant price increases, he said that “while pricing [is] always a consideration in any business,” the company’s focus will be on expanding and “enhancing” the product line.

Meanwhile, Accela, like pretty much every other gov tech company, goes into 2024 acutely aware of the growing presence of artificial intelligence, seemingly a part of every sales pitch going out to local and state governments.

“Accela is embracing this challenge as a catalyst for innovation and growth,” Reininger said. “We recognize the importance of staying at the forefront of these advancements, not just to keep pace, but to lead and transform how we serve our customers.”

As for Kovacs, Accela, in the statement, credited him with having “transformed [the company] from a collection of isolated point solutions into a cohesive, cloud-based platform. This strategic decision streamlined operations, offering seamless connectivity for government departments, [and] a convenient one-stop hub for residents and businesses.”
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.