Skip to main content

What is Culture? Season 2 – Episode #3: Culture Trumps Strategy

Podcast - What is Culture? Season 2

On June 16, 2017, Marlin Equity Partners, a global investment firm, completed the take-private acquisition of Tangoe—in combination with Asentinel, LLC, an existing Marlin portfolio company—to create a global leader of technology lifecycle management solutions. In addition, enterprise software veteran, Bob Irwin, was appointed to serve as CEO of the newly combined company, succeeding Jim Foy.

This interview with Dave Hansen, Operating Executive at Marlin Equity Partners and Executive Chairman of Tangoe, was recorded, by coincidence, just days after the two-year anniversary of all these changes and announcements.

Dave has over 25 years of experience as an executive in the software and IT industries. Before joining Marlin in 2015, Dave was the Vice President and General Manager of Dell Software Group, a billion-dollar division inside of Dell Inc., where he was responsible for leading the go-to-market strategy and overseeing a staff of approximately 3,000 employees.

When I told my colleagues that I was interviewing Dave for the podcast, many were surprised that he agreed to be a guest. Really? Dave from Marlin? Wow. He’s gonna be on the show? That’s unbelievable.

Dave Hansen, Operating Executive | Marlin Equity Partners

But beyond the surprise and excitement, many of my coworkers admitted they really didn’t have a clear understanding of Marlin’s involvement with Tangoe. They reluctantly confessed they weren’t exactly sure what it meant to be owned by a private equity firm.  I think it’s understandable to have those uncertainties, and I am pleased to present an episode that addresses many of those questions.

In addition to explaining Marlin’s relationship to Tangoe, including the responsibilities of an operating executive – we cover a lot of ground here. Dave discusses what it was like to publicly announce the take-private acquisition of Tangoe, why he feels Bob Irwin was and is the perfect CEO for the organization, how he feels we’ve handled the acquisition of MOBI, where he sees Tangoe in the next five years, and why he believes that culture trumps strategy.

Great thanks to Dave for his support and contribution to the show!

About the Podcast

How does Tangoe—a global organization with over 2,200 employees in 11 countries, who has acquired several organizations throughout its nearly 20-year history—maintain, nurture, or alter its collective company culture? Can it be done? Before answering that, an organization must first discover its culture as it currently exists—without judgement. And that’s precisely what this podcast aims to do. Join us as we rediscover Tangoe’s culture through a series of candid interviews with employees, industry analysts, clients, and more. Learn more about the podcast What is Culture?

If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, please send me an email at

Listen to Podcasts