DMI’s founder Sunny Bajaj is stepping down as CEO after 21 years, to be succeeded by the company’s Chief Operating Officer Rocky Thurston. Going forward, Bajaj will remain on DMI’s board of directors.
“It has been a privilege to build and lead DMI since its founding 21 years ago,” Bajaj said. “Since OceanSound’s investment, we have substantially transformed the company and positioned DMI for even greater success.”
Thurston joined DMI in January 2022 and has since worked closely with Bajaj to oversee strategic development, operations and growth initiatives.
“We are fortunate to have had Rocky as our COO, an exceptional partner, who has proven his leadership abilities and now I am delighted to pass the baton to him as DMI’s new CEO,” Bajaj said. “Rocky’s strategic vision, operational acumen, and deep understanding of our company’s values make him the ideal candidate to take DMI to the next level. I look forward to supporting Rocky and the rest of the management team in my new role.”
The appointment follows a strategic transformation to better position DMI to serve government and commercial customers. DMI recently completed important growth initiatives to expand its digital solutions and managed services offering by leveraging disruptive commercial technologies to advance growth with government and commercial clients. This has made it the right time to transition leadership, the company said.
“It is an honor to step into the CEO role at DMI,” Thurston said. “I am deeply grateful to Sunny for his invaluable contributions in establishing this remarkable organization. As we move forward, we will build upon our strong foundation and deep talent pool to help our clients continue to deliver a valuable customer experience, streamline business workflows, and decrease operating costs. Together, we will continue to innovate, drive value for our clients, and shape the future of our industry.”
During his time as COO, Thurston was pivotal in the acquisition and integration of three complementary businesses, including Simplex Mobility. Before joining DMI, he held leadership positions at Peraton, Accenture and Lockheed Martin, among others.
“It is wonderful to see the succession plan architected by Joe and Sunny being realized successfully,” said Mark HuYoung, managing partner of NorthWind Partners. “Rocky has leveraged years of experience demonstrating strong, capable leadership during his tenure as COO, which makes this transition seamless. It will be exciting to watch the company’s continued growth trajectory with him at the helm.”
Joe Benavides, managing partner at OceanSound, said this leadership transition will expand efforts started under Bajaj’s leadership.
“The market for digital transformation solutions, especially companies leveraging commercial technology to disrupt the government end market, has long been a priority investment area for OceanSound,” he said. “Since our investment in October 2021, DMI has increased its technology differentiation, substantially improved its business development maturity and surpassed our growth expectations while materially enhancing its operational discipline.”
“We are confident Rocky’s leadership will further accelerate the efforts initiated under Sunny’s leadership and are grateful for his desire to continue supporting the company from his role on the company’s board of directors.”