Carrie Wheeler, EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Liquid Web

Carrie Wheeler is the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Liquid Web. As a part of the executive leadership team, she is often sought after for her problem-solving skills, forward-thinking approach, optimism, and versatile nature. Her expertise, interpersonal skills, and strategic vision make her a true leader – exuding power and confidence.

An Upbringing Based on Hard Work & Dedication

Born in a family of educators, Carrie was raised by strong-willed and courageous women who instilled in her a sense of hard work, discipline, and bravery since childhood. Her mother and grandmother were her role models in every possible way. In college, Carrie pursued a Bachelor of Science in Marketing & Finance from Trinity University and an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University.  Early in her career, Carrie credits her foundation in consulting as the catapult for her success, “My career was positively influenced at the very beginning when I joined a “Big Six” Consulting firm. That experience taught me business fundamentals, how to ‘show-up’ professionally, what it meant for people to have expectations of me, and how to meet commitments,” shares Carrie.

Carrie’s career in consulting industry, however, started with a surprise. She recounts, “On my very first day in consulting, I had no idea I was supposed to learn how to code.” Coming from a business background, learning to code was challenging for Carrie. “I had to throw myself in, go through training, and learn how to code. Over time, I carved out a niche in translating technical concepts to business leaders and business concepts to technical leaders. These skills eventually led me into senior leadership and strategy, ” adds Carrie.

After this stint, Carrie held several IT leadership positions at Accenture, MCI Communications, AT&T, and Cbeyond. Her key areas of expertise now lie in executive management, product & market strategy, merger and acquisition planning and execution, customer experience and operations, systems development, program and capital management, and process definition and development.

Stepping into the Leadership Role

In 2015, Carrie joined Liquid Web as its COO and later became the EVP and General Manager of the company. Currently, she is responsible for defining and driving the growth of Liquid Web’s strategic product lines, including Managed Hosting, Cloud Services, and Managed Applications Services including Managed WordPress, Managed WooCommerce, and Managed Magento.

Wearing dual hats of COO & EVP, Carrie devotes her time to think about the future strategies of Liquid Web. “A big part of my role is putting together the best accumulation of many different inputs and interpreting the trends we’re seeing. In this role, I get to use my creative and interpersonal skills in addition to analytical, technical and financial skills I’ve leveraged for prior roles.” states Carrie.

The Go-To Destination for Fully Managed Hosting & Custom Solutions

Established in 1997, Liquid Web is a family of brands that represent 10 companies whose mission is to enable small businesses and the creators that build sites and stores for them – to make money online.  Generating over USD 160m in revenue, Liquid Web is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

“Our sweet spot and passion are the millions of SMBs, and the developers, designers, and agencies who aren’t big enough to have a technical staff, tools, and support to help them execute their vision,” shares Carrie. This is where Liquid Web’s expertise comes into play. It offers simplified, high-performance, secure, and curated solutions to accelerate SMBs and creators getting, staying, and growing online.

What makes Liquid Web Unique?

In today’s competitive marketplace, Liquid Web’s uniqueness lies in its people-plus-technology support that goes far above and beyond. ‘The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting,’ a term coined by Liquid Web’s team, provides round-the-clock hosting support and a series of simplified products that gives clients the freedom to create great sites, stores, and applications as well as grow their business and keep their clients satisfied.

Furthermore, Liquid Web’s distinctive strategy of having a product for every project in its family of brands allows it to market in four distinct categories: Liquid Web (High Performance Managed Hosting), Nexcess (Digital Commerce Cloud), StellarWP (WordPress Software and Tools), and soon-to-be-launched ‘SaaS-like’ products which will make it even easier to build, launch, and maintain a WordPress site or store.

Likewise, Carrie and her team at Liquid Web listen and collect feedback from their customers and empower nearly 1000 employees and contractors to deliver a remarkable experience. This way, Liquid Web assists web professionals in devoting their time to innovating and strengthening their businesses instead of worrying about managing their websites. Owing to its unparalleled hosting services, Liquid Web has emerged as one of the highest customer loyalty brands in the world based on the Net Promoter Score.

A Day in the Life of a Leader

As the EVP & Chief Operating Officer of Liquid Web, Carrie splits her day at work into strategic planning meetings, problem-solving discussions with clients and internal teams, and staff development. Carrie’s mantra of staying calm under stressful situations is rooted in her belief that every problem can be solved if one thinks clearly, focuses on the data and stays objective, and remains confident in one’s abilities. Moreover, Carrie mentions that one of her critical roles in the organization is to set the right tone at work. As a result, she focuses on bringing the right attitude and outlook each day at Liquid Web. This includes ensuring that everyone on the team stays aligned to their goals and objectives and works efficiently towards achieving them.

Being a sports fanatic, Carrie’s perfect idea to unwind after a day at work is to catch football game or by watching nearly every single baseball game played by the Atlanta Braves. She also loves exploring the outdoors with her family and helping her daughter in her journey through college life. Besides these, Carrie loves reading true crime novels with a hot cup of coffee whenever she has some free time.

Keeping Customers & Employees at the Forefront During Pandemic

“One of the things I’m most proud of is that our team pivoted very quickly to fully working remotely when the pandemic hit,” shares Carrie. At the onset of the pandemic, all 600 employees and over 300 contractors of Liquid Web had seamlessly transitioned to remote working without having a blip in customer satisfaction, service, or responsiveness.

During such turbulent times, Carrie and her team not only assisted customers in making infrastructure-related decisions to meet their growing scale and security needs but also developed new products like WooCommerce Automated testing to enable eCommerce business owners to identify any cart, payment, or login problems affecting their sites and Sales Performance Monitor to send merchants alerts on sales trends, giving them much needed visibility and allowing them to get back on track if store sales were slowing down. In addition, Liquid Web also launched StoreBuilder, an intelligent, no-code eCommerce solution that makes building a store on WordPress faster and easier. At all levels, Carrie and the senior management team of Liquid Web kept their customers and employees at the forefront of their decision-making process.

The Future

The COVID -19 pandemic forever changed the concept of work, the workplace, and the workforce. It, however, opened doors for leading organizations such as Liquid Web to recruit from the global talent pool. The company now hires the best of talent with specific technical skills and specialized experience who will bring in fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, resulting in increased productivity.

Going ahead, Liquid Web’s North Star strategic vision is to simplify online commerce— in all forms—for new and existing online merchants, leveraging open-source solutions riding on its infrastructure, software assets, industry expertise, and world-class technical support. “We have a big audacious goal of being the leader in making WordPress easy for small and midsize businesses to make money online. So, figuring out the right solutions to meet customer needs in an easy-to-use way is what I’m super passionate about right now and has most of my attention,” concludes Carrie.

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