Big Language Solutions (BIG) has announced the appointment of Dick Surdykowski as CEO. He takes over from Jeff Brink, erstwhile CEO of the Atlanta-based language service provider (LSP), who described Surdykowski as “a process-oriented leader with a long history of managing sales growth.”
Surdykowski, whose official first day as CEO was on August 29, 2022, told Slator, “I actually met with Jeff Brink about three years ago, when he was putting everything together for BIG. Timing worked out perfectly as Jeff was moving into the Chairman role, and the CEO role for the next phase of growth at BIG matches my skill set perfectly.”
Surdykowski joins BIG after more than three decades in the commercial facilities and IT industries. He sees the global language market as “large, growing, and fragmented,” and said that among his key initiatives over the next year or so is to “clearly understand our strengths and opportunities, then build and execute strategies around both to enable sustainable, profitable growth.”
The new CEO also plans to focus on making technology a key differentiator and “embrace and build off what made us successful up to this point.”
Growth Amid Cautious Market
Jeff Brink, when asked what prompted the leadership change, replied that handing over the reins allows him to “step back from the day-to-day and focus on strategic initiatives and M&A.”
Brink told Slator, “The Chairman role allows me to spend more time on three things I really enjoy — strategy, key client relationships, and deals. My aggressive travel schedule was also beginning to take a toll, as I will turn 60 in less than two months.”
BIG’s buy-and-build strategy has seen the LSP snap up a number of companies since its founding in 2019; most recently Italy-based legal translation specialist, Lawlinguists in April 2022.
Brink singled out regulated industries as providing BIG with the most growth opportunities; thus, “[the company’s] M&A initiatives are geared toward increasing [its] regulated market share.” He said BIG will continue to “focus on providing secure translation services in regulated, highly technical, and non-regulated sectors.”
On current trading in 2022, Brink said, “We are seeing some general softness driven by inflation, market uncertainty, and the war in Europe. It’s still early to form conclusions, but generally speaking many clients are operating with caution and managing budgets more closely.”
The BIG Chairman estimates annual revenues for the LSP at the end of 2022 to come in at around USD 80m.