Business Review – European Commercial Leadership Roles
Following a strong 2018, Erevena made a bold start to 2019 as we continue to cement our reputation as the go-to firm for hiring commercial executives in the EMEA region.
The European tech ecosystem continues to gain momentum, benefitting from the increasingly global distribution of venture capital over the last 10 years, with the US share reducing from 90% to 50%. With European founders raising larger financing rounds spurred on by a proliferation of home-grown unicorns, the pressure to scale faster in order to build global winners intensifies. With that, we are seeing an increasing ambition to hire experienced executives earlier in the company lifecycle.
At Erevena we continue to run senior commercial searches for SaaS companies at various stages of their growth. Ranging from those launching in region for the first time, such as Pymetrics, to scale-ups building the team that can take them to IPO e.g. ON24, and multi-billion-dollar companies, such as MINDBODY, entering the next phase of their growth.
The challenge is always striking the balance between ensuring that those hired have the commercial competencies to solve the founders’ current problems as well as the issues presented by ambitions for future scale. We are accustomed to solving this challenge right across the growth cycle, as demonstrated below in a few case studies of recent searches.
The Erevena B2B Commercial LeadershipTeam
Phil Coxon joins MINDBODY as VP & MD EMEA
MINDBODY emerged from a simple idea – small business owners deserve the time to do what they love. Their software has turned that idea into an imperative, streamlining all aspects of business management for thousands of health and wellness businesses across six continents. The result is software aimed at both the business and consumer which has a positive impact on the health and wellness of the world. When Erevena started working with MINDBODY they were NASDAQ listed, but in December 2018 the business was taken private by Vista Private Equity, which had the potential to derail the search.
Vista still saw the need to hire a new leader for the EMEA business to work alongside the CRO and Founder/CEO. After an extensive search Phil Coxon was successfully placed as the VP & MD EMEA. Phil is a globally recognised business leader with broad P&L operating experience and over 20 years in corporates and start-ups, working across the US, APAC and Europe. Phil joined from MotorK where as CRO he led all global SaaS revenue related strategies, achieving high double-digit annual revenue growth. Prior to this Phil spent seven years at Criteo where he played an integral part in structuring and scaling the business through to IPO during a period where revenue grew from $50m to $2.3B.
Pymetrics accelerate European growth with appointment of Mikael Lindmark
Pymetrics are using gamification and AI to transform the way that companies hire, retain and develop their employees. Their SaaS-based, neuroscience-led assessments remove bias from the hiring process and help large enterprises to maximise the value of their human capital. The business is headquartered in New York and led by Founder-CEO Frida Polli, who has a background in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Sciences from MIT and Harvard.
Following a fresh round of funding ($40m led by General Atlantic and with contributions from Khosla, Salesforce and Workday) Frida was looking to accelerate the growth of the European business and asked Erevena to assist Pymetrics in the search for a new Managing Director EMEA. Mikael Lindmark joined in March 2019 with an enviable track-record of building HR-focused software companies in Europe. Prior to joining Pymetrics he spent 14 years as VP EMEA at Fieldglass (acquired by SAP in 2014), building the business from the ground-up. He was formerly VP Sales EMEA at Saba Software.
Commenting on the appointment Frida Polli, Founder-CEO said: “It was an absolute pleasure working with Joe and the team at Erevena. They have great knowledge of the market, were very responsive during the process and found us an awesome candidate in Mikael. We couldn’t be happier, and I would highly recommend them!”
ON24 appoint EMEA MD to drive European Growth
ON24 is a San Francisco-headquartered SaaS company (backed by Goldman Sachs) that helps customers realise greater revenue and pipeline through targeted webinar and customer engagement solutions. Informed by more than a billion engagement minutes — including 12 million polls, 1.3 million surveys, 1.5 million conversations, and conversion of over 17 million resources — marketers drive more revenue from ON24 webinars than any other digital channel.
ON24 asked Erevena to partner with them on the search for a new EMEA Managing Director. Jim Blackie (CRO) and Mike Badgis (VP Global HR) were seeking a senior exec with strong martech credentials who could drive exponential growth in the European business. Tim Collin joined in May 2019 having previously led EMEA for Spredfast (acquired by Vista in September 2018) and Marin Software (IPO in 2013) through significant scale-up journeys to exit.
CircleCI appoint Nick Mills to drive international expansion
CircleCI allows teams to rapidly build quality projects at scale. Their mission is to give people the power to build and deliver software at the speed of imagination. At the time of the search, CircleCI had raised $60M in venture funding, led by Scale. The company had already launched in Japan and were looking for a GM for the EMEA region to continue their international growth. CircleCI had onboarded initial European customers, including some of the top start-ups from the region such as Spotify and TransferWise, and leading eCommerce players like One Kings Lane.
Erevena secured Nick Mills, formerly the Head of UK&I Revenue at Stripe. Nick had a blend of experience in sales leadership and general management with Facebook and Adelphic, and latterly with Stripe. His experience at Stripe, a developer-focused business meant he was one of the few candidates in London combining the capability to build that audience, alongside the integrated sales and marketing experience needed.
Jane Kim, CRO, CircleCI said: “Erevena was a great partner to us as we launched a search to find a leader to lead our business in a net new region. Not only did they hone in on the right fit of skillset and experience we were looking for, Erevena was a real partner in helping us navigate a new region and how the regional business needs shifted the requirements of our search. In addition, they were with us every step of the search and were just as invested in the success of our search as we were!”
DevicePilot attract Marc Munier as Chief Commercial Officer
DevicePilot is an IoT business providing cloud-based software that enables customers to manage their connected devices at scale, with proactive management of the entire device lifecycle. DevicePilot supports customers through open interfaces that can manage any device, on any platform with easy to use APIs for rapid and simple integration.
DevicePilot and Erevena worked together to find their first Chief Commercial Officer who would be responsible for rapidly transitioning the GTM from the existing high-touch, inside sales approach to one which is predominately a zero-touch, high velocity, B2B SaaS model. Due to the very early stage of the business, the role required an inspirational “founder profile” with an innate understanding of what it takes to grow a business from £0 – £5M and beyond, without the support of a large, extended team. They would also need a deep understanding of the modern, high velocity, volume SaaS environment and a broad commercial skillset spanning marketing, revenue generation and post-sales.
Erevena secured Marc Munier as DevicePilot’s Chief Commercial Officer. Marc joined having previously scaled Brandwatch as their EVP Revenue for EMEA & APAC as well as being responsible for the EMEA sales & marketing teams for Cision.
Pilgrim Beart, Chief Executive Officer, DevicePilot commented: “The DevicePilot board recognised that it would take the best to find the best. Jonnie and Kevin at Erevena managed a process which proceeded rapidly and smoothly, despite mid-course corrections as we refined the brief.”
Erevena is an Executive Search firm focused on high growth and transformation. Our clients are amongst the fastest growing companies in the world: they are VC & growth equity backed; they are publicly traded & privately held companies transforming to grow.
We work with investors, boards and leadership teams who value Erevena for our advice, collaborative approach, diligence, global reach and our expertise in hiring executives & non-executives who understand innovation & disruption and/or can deliver growth & transformation.
We have a “one firm” approach putting the needs of our clients at the centre of everything we do. We grow value in Erevena through investing in some of the funds with whom we work; through co-founding companies that complement or advance our service offering and through growing the capability, knowledge and potential of our people.