Galvanize names as CEO head of company it acquired last year

The original Galvanize headquarters at 11th and Delaware in Denver. (BizDen file photo)

Galvanize has tapped a new CEO — again.

The Denver-based coworking startup and coding boot camp announced last week that it has named Harsh Patel to the role. He replaces Al Rosabal, who took over as CEO in January 2018.

Galvanize acquired Patel’s San Francisco-based Hack Reactor coding school chain last summer, and named him chief product officer. Patel, who moved to Denver last fall, said conversations with Galvanize’s board about the CEO promotion started about a month ago.

“I’ve actually been in the coding school industry for about seven years now,” Patel said. “I’ve got to admit I’ve seen a lot of challenges that could happen and I feel pretty prepared.”

Harsh Patel

Contacted by a reporter, Rosabal said he was not available for an interview, but said in an emailed statement “my perspective on the transition is that I wish the best for the new leadership team and the company overall.”

In a phone interview with BusinessDen, Patel said his top priority in the new role is bringing Galvanize’s coding curriculum to other businesses.

“We’re seeing a lot of inbound interest from larger employers who are looking to upskill their current engineers,” he said. “Once we started seeing that happen, we wanted to capitalize on that … They really see Galvanize as transforming their internal company into the modern workforce.”

In conjunction with the CEO announcement last week, Galvanize also announced that it has hired Bill Cummings as executive vice president, overseeing the company’s corporate trainings. Cummings was previously a senior director of New Jersey-based Cognizant.

Galvanize employs approximately 400 people across its campuses in Denver, Boulder, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin, TX.

In Denver, the startup holds classes only at its Platte Street location now. Its Golden Triangle location houses coworking space, along with administration offices and event space.

Patel said Galvanize’s coworking spaces are approximately 90 percent full.

“I am new to the coworking aspects of Galvanize,” he said. “The companies that are here, they’re not here to goof around. They’re here because they’re serious. That gives me a lot of encouragement about Galvanize’s coworking future … We’ve started to become known as a coworking space with people who are serious about their businesses.”

Galvanize also announced that Karl Maier is joining the company’s board as executive chairman.

Jim Deters co-founded Galvanize in 2012 but left the company in 2017, a month before Galvanize announced layoffs. Deters recently opened a coffee shop and gym in Denver’s Virginia Village neighborhood.

Other coding boot camps in Denver include the recent addition of WeWork’s Flatiron School in RiNo.

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