Shiftgig sees a shift in top management

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Wade Burgess (left) has been named CEO of Shiftgig; co-founder Eddie Lou moves from CEO to executive chairman. | Provided

There’s a shift in management at Shiftgig, the Chicago-based company that connects shift workers to the hospitality, event marketing, retail and logistics industries.

Wade Burgess, who’s headed the talent solutions division of LinkedIn, has been named CEO; current CEO and co-founder Eddie Lou becomes executive chairman.

“For the past 18 months, I’ve been looking for a person in Chicago who believes in our vision and who can help build the company faster and better than I can because of their experience,” Lou said.

He found it in Burgess.

The Chicago tech leader is credited with helping LinkedIn grow its sales teams in the United States and Europe before becoming global head of talent solutions — the company’s largest business unit. It’s the part of the company that helps companies hire workers.

Similarly, Shiftgig connects people to hourly jobs. The company has worked with restaurants and hotels, the Super Bowl, World Series and Rio Olympic Games. Even Amazon has been a client.

Earlier this year, Shiftgig raised $20 million in funding, putting total fundraising at $59 million since it was founded in 2012. High-profile investors include Don Wilson’s DRW Venture Capital in Chicago.

Burgess, a Nebraska native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln grad, sees the top job at Shiftgig just as a continuation of the work he’s pursued for years.

“My mission is to help people live better lives via economic empowerment. At LinkedIn, we are about helping people find the next opportunity. Shiftgig is similar but it’s a different part of the economy. It’s about the hourly worker.”

They call that the “gig economy,” and Burgess’ job will be to expand the company’s platform across the country.

Shiftgig started as an online networking site for shift workers in the hospitality industry. It evolved into a marketplace in numerous industries all by way of the smartphone. The company says it’s helped 24,000 workers find jobs with 2,200 companies.

Should Amazon establish a headquarters in Chicago, it would find a friendly partner in Shiftgig.

“Amazon is an exceptional company,” Burgess said. “We’re excited about what we could do for them or any business.”

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