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Terry Waters to succeed Emily Green as CEO of The Yankee Group, tech forecasting firm founded in 1970

Posted by Scott Kirsner  November 8, 2010 08:30 AM

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yankee-group.jpgBoston’s oldest technology forecasting firm, The Yankee Group, has a new CEO today. Emily Nagle Green is turning over the corner office to Terry Waters, though she’ll remain Yankee’s chairman. Back in April, when Yankee announced an infusion of $10 million from private equity shop Alta Communications, its majority shareholder, the research firm also said that it was starting the search for a new CEO.

Waters had previously served two stints as an executive at the largest tech forecasting firm, Connecticut-based Gartner Inc. Most recently, he’d been CEO at Highline Financial, an Austin-based data and analytics company focused on the banking industry. (Waters stayed in that job for just 18 months, and never moved to Austin.)

“The goal,” says Waters, “is really to make Yankee Group a global firm. We’ve been focused on this theme of … ubiquitous connectivity, and how that is changing things for businesses and consumers, and we think that is a huge market opportunity.” In a press release today, Yankee Group said it had recently hired 11 new analysts to examine sectors like mobile payments, 4G wireless, and security. Waters tells me he’ll continue living in Connecticut and will commute to Boston.

Green, who has led Yankee since 2005, will continue as Yankee’s chairman, and says she will seek to serve on other boards and help “grow the Massachusetts tech hub.” Green is also vice-chair of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange, the digital media and marketing trade group. She may also write another book, on the heels of 2009's "Anywhere: How Global Connectivity is Revolutionizing the Way We Do Business." On top of that, she has been learning how to play the accordion.

Yankee Group was founded in 1970 by Howard Anderson, and built its reputation on Anderson’s ability to turn out a pithy quote — and to accurately predict what was likely to happen next in the telecom industry. There have always been all sorts of interconnections between Yankee and its Cambridge rival Forrester Research: Forrester Research founder George Colony worked at Yankee early in his career, and in the late 1990s Green helped Colony build Forrester into one of the biggest tech research firms (it’s now #2 behind Gartner.)

Tuck Rickards at the Boston office of Russell Reynolds handled Yankee’s CEO search.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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