Jason Blessing

CEO of Plex Systems Inc. in Troy. A cloud enterprise resource planning technology company, Plex Systems provides businesses integrated applications to manage manufacturing execution systems, supply chain management, customer relationship management, shop floor integration, quality management, and others. Blessing has held a variety of executive positions at PeopleSoft, Oracle, and PriceWaterhouse during his 20–year career in enterprise software. He joined Plex Systems from Oracle, where he was senior vice president of application development. Previously, he held executive positions at Taleo, a pioneer in cloud–based talent management applications that was acquired by Oracle in 2011. Blessing started at Taleo as general manager of its small– and medium–sized business unit where he had global responsibility for sales, marketing, product development, and services. He also served as executive vice president of products and technology, overseeing Taleo’s product strategy, product management, engineering, and cloud services functions. Plex has grown to nearly 300 employees and has several workforce awards, including being named one of the Detroit Free Press 100 Top Work Places for four consecutive years and a 101 Best & Brightest Metro Detroit winner for four consecutive years and a national winner for two. The company also was named CRN’s 20 Coolest Cloud Software Vendors of the Cloud 100. Plex was acquired last year by Francisco Partners and received a $30 million investment from Accel Partners. The company established the Plex Giving program to rally employees to dedicate one year of service to a community. Each year, employees select a new community, and the program has grown to include support from customers and partners during the company’s annual PowerPlex user conference. Blessing chairs the advisory board at Bunchball and is a coach for entrepreneurs at Michigan eLab. He earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from the University of Michigan.

WHERE BORN: “Chicago.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “I’m fortunate to have lots and one sticks out, my high school chemistry teacher, Dr. Hesse. He was a good teacher who taught different subjects and motivated me to focus on academics and curriculum around math and science, to push myself and set me on my course today.”

LAST BOOK READ:The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Thoughtful, competitive, and adventurous.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “It’s a really exciting time in enterprise software. We’re going through a major disruption where vendors like my company are delivering next–generation software through the cloud and disrupting old entrenched legacy systems. In technology, people ask ’what’s the next big thing?’ and Plex is the next big thing.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My iPad, I travel a lot and it’s indispensable to pull work and personal content together.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “I spend time with my family in Lake Tahoe.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Anything on a bike – mountain or road. I also love snow skiing and chasing my 9–year–old triplets around.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Spicy Thai food.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I am a wine maker and specialize in pinot noir and cabernets.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As a good husband and good father – my family is important. And at work, as a thoughtful and humble leader who helped build great things.”