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Meet Stephen Waldis, CEO And President Of Synchronoss Technologies

You may never have heard of Stephen Waldis' company, Synchronoss Technologies, but if you've ever purchased a product or service from a site run by companies such as Cablevision or Level 3 Communications, then you've used its technology.

Photograph by James Leynse
Stephen Waldis
CEO And President Of Synchronoss Technologies

Interview by Larry Greenemeier

Stephen Waldis, CEO and president of Synchronoss Technologies

Synchronoss is responsible for completing online orders once they're made from a Web site or a client, such as Cingular. "If you go to Cingular.com and you start the purchase process, we own that."

Waldis started with AT&T in 1989. Eventually, he wanted to start his own business, so Waldis left in 1992 to co-found professional services firm Vertek (which spun off Synchronoss in 2001). "When I left AT&T, people said, 'Why wouldn't you do that work for AT&T? You have a job for life.'"

In 2002, Synchronoss' No. 1 client, MCI, filed for the largest bankruptcy in history at the time. A lot of people told Waldis he should close up shop. "A month later, we were named a critical vendor and were entitled to money from the MCI bankruptcy process. A lot of MCI's services were tied up with Synchronoss."

Bob Beckert, a former AT&T VP, was a mentor to Waldis. Since Beckert died in 2003, Waldis has helped his family host an annual memorial run that raises money for scholarships for high school graduates in Watchung, N.J. He's also one of three judges deciding how the scholarship money is allocated. "We're not necessarily looking for the best 'A' student or the star athlete, but someone who's a team player. We look at it through Bob's eyes."

Waldis was on the same Seton Hall baseball team that featured future major leaguers Craig Biggio, Mo Vaughn, and John Valentin. One of his best moments was pitching relief in coach Mike Shepherd's 500th career win. "You have to have the right demeanor to be a relief pitcher. They don't call you in to blow eight innings of work."

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