January 2, 2019 – Chief financial officers continue to be in high demand.
Finding them is keeping many of the nation’s top recruitment operations busier than ever.
In recent months, search firms of all varieties have placed CFOs at various companies.
Recently, Toronto-based executive search firm Caldwell recruited Matt Hibbard as the new CFO of Lifesize, a global provider of video collaboration and meeting productivity solutions. Managing partner Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor led the assignment.
Mr. Hibbard brings more than 20 years of financial leadership experience scaling VC-backed technology companies, including two successful IPOs, raising and structuring various financings. His industry experience ranges from marketplace, fintech and cyber security SaaS businesses.
“It’s a pivotal time for Lifesize, and we needed someone who could bring stability and vision to the company while still pushing us to innovate and grow,” said Craig Malloy, CEO of Lifesize. “Matt is a natural fit for that goal, and his body of work speaks to his expertise in scaling and guiding companies through periods of critical growth. We’re very excited to add Matt to the Lifesize team, both from a leadership and strategic standpoint, as we look to continue expanding our market footprint in 2019.”
Mr. Hibbard led all financial operations, business analytics, legal, compliance, IT and HR and scaled several companies to profitability across multiple product lines and geographical locations. Previously, he was CFO of Distil Networks. He also brings experience in financial leadership roles from companies such as Xoom, OpenTable and Ernst & Young.
In his new role, Mr. Hibbard will oversee corporate finance, accounting, business analytics, legal and various strategic initiatives at Lifesize, helping to guide the company through a key period of growth and development.
“I am truly excited to join Lifesize at such an important point in the company’s journey,” said Mr. Hibbard. “I look forward to working closely with Craig and the team to continue strengthening unit economics, accelerating growth and ultimately achieving the highest return for the company and our investors.”
Ms. Chatfield-Taylor is managing partner of Caldwell’s private equity and venture capital practice and a member of the firm’s technology, consumer, digital and media teams. She focuses on executive-level search for high-growth technology companies, with deep expertise in business-to-business, SaaS, social, eCommerce, gaming and other transformative technologies. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor has completed over 50 CEO searches as well as other CXO level assignments for her clients with a deep passion and expertise in helping to diversify VC & PE-backed company boards and leadership teams.
Modern Day CFO
A recent report by Stanton Chase International found that the CFO role continues to evolve at an escalating pace. As the job expands to include more non-traditional financial accountabilities, CFOs recognize that they must develop new skills to lead.
Transitioning CFOs Seen Fast Tracking to CEO
La Quinta’s naming of Keith Cline as company president and chief executive officer is the latest in a running catalog of completed CEO searches that have resulted in the winning candidate coming from the CFO slot. Korn Ferry took on the search last fall after Wayne Goldberg stepped down from the post last September.
“With technology increasingly shaping and disrupting corporate strategy and the way organizations operate, CFOs must remain poised for more change ahead, and be prepared to quickly and continuously innovate to keep pace with digital transformation,” Stanton Chase said.
The report found that technology, and the unique opportunities it offers, presents new challenges and demands for CFOs. Among them, CFOs must take on a greater role in attracting, developing and retaining top tech-savvy leadership talent that can leverage new technologies within their organizations, allowing them to focus on developing and driving corporate strategy to remain competitive.
The tide has clearly turned, and the CFO’s focus has irrevocably shifted from “traditional” finance responsibilities to finding ways that finance can add measurable business value. “Technology is both a driver and an enabler of this shift,” the report said.