June 26, 2020 – San Diego, CA-headquartered executive search firm Bespoke Partners has assisted in the placement of Linda Buan as chief technology officer of Clearlake Capital Group-backed Provation. Ms. Buan had been serving as the company’s vice president, product development and operations.
“Innovation, quality and service have long been defining characteristics of Provation’s software solutions, and our chief technology officer is integral to the creation and sustainability of that value proposition,” said Daniel Hamburger, CEO of Provation. “Linda’s leadership has been key to our success in developing both server-based and cloud-based solutions, and her technological expertise has been especially important as we have introduced our software as a service (SaaS) solution, Provation® Apex. We are confident that Linda will help lead Provation to continued success and growth.”
“Ultimately, Linda Buan’s passion for the growth and future of Provation, her leadership style and demonstrated ability to step into the CTO position gave the team confidence that she was the best fit for the opportunity,” said Susan Hanson, vice president of human resources at Provation.
Ms. Buan, who joined Provation in 2002, is an accomplished software executive. She has more than 25 years of healthcare IT industry experience, and has led global product development, product management, IT, quality assurance, documentation and medical content teams to consistently deliver strong results. Prior to joining Provation, Ms. Buan was a development manager at McKesson where she led the software development team and also served as an international project manager during her tenure.
“Linda was responsible for launching Provation’s cloud product, Provation Apex,” said Ms. Hanson. “Her team created the idea behind it, and brought it to launch in 2018. Linda ultimately assumed the CTO position with the transition of the previous incumbent and was reporting directly into Provation’s new appointed CEO in November 2019, Daniel Hamburger.”
“Linda has a proven track record of high retention within her team and makes an effort to focus on developing their soft skills while putting an emphasis on mentoring and career pathing,” said Kristie Nova, CEO of Bespoke Partners. “She’s a transparent and collaborative leader who understands each team member as an individual and appreciates them. The fact that Linda has consistently been promoted under different CEOs and business ownership demonstrates that she continues to be excited about the growth and long-term vision for the business. She made it evident to the Provation leadership team and Clearlake Capital that she could step into the CTO position.”
Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Provation is a provider of clinical productivity software for healthcare professionals. Trusted by leading physicians globally for over 25 years, Provation serves more than 3,300 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and medical offices, including 43 of the top 50 U.S. hospitals for gastroenterology and GI surgery. The company helps providers increase operational efficiencies, business profitability and regulatory compliance by improving quality, streamlining workflows and enabling insights with structured data.
“It is a privilege to continue to develop best-of-breed solutions for hospitals, ACSs and physician offices around the world,” Ms. Buan said. “I’m excited to further guide our technology and content teams as we continue to lead our industry in leveraging advanced technologies to develop innovative solutions for world-class physicians.”
About 40 percent of the candidates that Bespoke places are step-ups, meaning they are not proven in the role, but have been divisional leaders or the No. 2 to a strong C-level executive. Said Ms. Nova: “We often encourage our clients to consider step-up candidates as their eagerness to move into the C-suite typically correlates to working harder and bringing in a fresh perspective along with the fact that they are often more willing to relocate for the right opportunity.”
Providing a Diverse Slate of Candidates
Bespoke Partners has always been committed to diversity and inclusion. “We strive to provide a diverse slate of candidates to our clients,” Ms. Nova said. “Often what we find, especially within the CTO and CFO functions, is that women in C-level or No. 2 positions are far outnumbered by their male counterparts. The issue clearly starts before women are even in the position to be considered for an executive level role with less and less bubbling towards the top.”
To Improve Diversity, Recruiting Sector Must Set a New Course
Improving diversity is something that most well-run companies and mission-driven businesses are now implementing. Progress is slow and many times it feels as if we are all taking one step forward, two steps back. But no organization is more important to the success or failure of these initiatives than executive search firms. They hold powerful sway over who moves into the boardroom and into C-suite positions, where all of the most important corporate decisions are made. That power, according to Dale E. Jones, CEO of Diversified Search, raises more questions than answers these days.
Bespoke is a female founded and led business, and its diverse values are reflected in its company makeup. “We make a conscious effort to work with women and diverse candidates to mentor and coach them throughout career,” said Ms. Nova. “We help them with compensation negotiations, career pathing and introductions across our network. Ultimately, we want to stay in touch and build close relationships with high potential leaders to give the help that we can to get them into the roles they are aspiring for.”
Serving the PE Sector
Bespoke Partners is an executive search and leadership advisory firm dedicated to partnering with top private equity firms, including Thoma Bravo, Francisco Partners, Clearlake Capital, WCAS, Insight Partners, GI Partners, General Atlantic, CVC Capital Partners and TA Associates, to recruit software talent and assess and evaluate teams at every stage of the investment lifecycle, from growth equity to buyout.
Last year, Bespoke Partners conducted more than 100 searches; it has completed over 500 searches since inception in 2011. Its expertise includes all C-level searches, as well as board of directors and internal private equity operating partner searches. The firm’s leadership advisory expertise includes organizational due diligence as well as executive assessment and coaching. Bespoke Partners has additional offices in Austin and New York City.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media