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Despite mass firings, Kaseya CEO sees growth in Miami tech sector

Emily Michot/TNS

Despite recently getting rid of 150 Miami-based employees, Kaseya Chief Executive Officer Fred Voccola on Wednesday talked up the local tech community in a speech at the Miami Tech Summit.

The invitation-only event was held at downtown Miami’s Perez Art Museum and had an audience of about 150 tech leaders and entrepreneurs.

Voccola relocated to Miami in 2016 and moved Kaseya, a software company, with him after learning more about the advantages of Florida’s tax laws for businesses.

The Kaseya CEO shared his affinity for Miami’s workforce weeks after the company, which got taxpayer incentives for creating new jobs in Miami-Dade, shed 150 local account management and sales team employees at the beginning of April, a move that Kaseya Chief Communications Officer Xavier Gonzalez said was performance-based.

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“This city is a city of immigrants,” Voccola said Wednesday. “There’s that immigrant chip on the shoulder that you want to make life better. This creates work ethic, loyalty and very effective workers. The workforce, I believe, is the best in the world. We hired over 1,000 people here and will hire another several thousand in the next couple of years.”

As Kaseya expanded into what is now a $1.5 billion business, Voccola said he has focused on ways to further expand its brand and profile. Earlier in his career, Voccola became fascinated with Intel, which makes processors that research shows are found in 75% of laptops.

Voccola remembered Intel’s prominence during his time working in San Francisco and wanted to emulate that effect: “They got to a point where every single buyer of a computer said that I’m not buying unless Intel is inside.”

The visibility of the brand played a role in his own company’s decision to pay for naming rights for the Kaseya Center, a 19,600-seat arena in downtown Miami that hosts the Miami Heat. Kaseya is in a seven-year agreement with Miami-Dade County for naming rights. It has yet to receive the promised job creation incentives, including $4.25 million from the county’s Relocation and Expansion Incentives Program.

Voccola said the opportunity for his company to become more well-known is a top priority.

“The end customers of our technology — the dentists, the owner of a law firm — have no idea what technology their IT security providers are using,” he said. “We want them to say one thing: Are they powered by Kaseya?”