Caldwell Places Chief Marketing Officer for VC-Backed Imply

May 12, 2021 – Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor, managing partner of the private equity and venture capital practice at Caldwell, has placed Praveen Rangnath as the new chief marketing officer for venture capital-backed Imply, a provider of self-service analytics. Mr. Rangnath is an experienced marketing leader across enterprise GTM and product-led growth. Previously, he was head of product marketing at Confluent, covering confluent platform, confluent cloud, product GTM strategy, solutions PMM, technical PMM, CP pricing/packaging, and strategic messaging. Mr. Rangnath led a team of 15 marketers, and together built a product marketing team in the world of enterprise software / infrastructure.. Before that, he was senior director industry/vertical product marketing at Splunk.

Business users, from front-line managers to executives, use Imply to interactively explore petabyte-scale, streaming datasets in order to quickly gain understanding, diagnose issues and take action. Imply’s cloud-native solution includes high-speed ingestion, instant query response, an intuitive drag-and-drop IU, and enterprise-grade management and security. Imply has operations in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and is backed by Andreesen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Geodesic Capital.

Proven Search Consultant

Ms. Chatfield-Taylor runs Caldwell’s global venture capital and private equity practice. She focuses on executive-level search for high-growth technology companies, with deep expertise in B2B SaaS, DevOps, E-commerce, consumer, and other transformative technologies. She has completed more than 50 CEO searches as well as hundreds of high impact C-level assignments for her clients, with a deep passion and expertise in helping to diversify VC and PE-backed company boards and their leadership teams. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor recently placed Kelli Koschmann as CPO of Showpad, Derrick Ware as CTO of Newsela, Sun Lee as CMO of Sisu, Heidi O’Neill as a board member at Spotify (IPO), and Prashanth Chandrasekaran as CEO for Stack Overflow.

“Mercedes is the foremost search professional in the high-growth technology venture capital sector today,” said John Wallace, chief executive officer of Caldwell. “Her reputation for her relentless drive, client commitment and impeccable execution precedes her.”

“For years, Mercedes has served in an advisory capacity to a roster of top-tier venture capital and private-equity firms, assisting her clients and their portfolio companies in recruiting leaders focused on value creation,” he said. “She is comfortable serving as a behind-the-scenes executive coach to early-stage founders and as a trusted advisor to public company boards of directors.”

CMOs on the Move

If it seemed like there were more chief marketing officer appointments last year than usual, that’s because there were, according to a new article in Ad Age based on research conducted by Russell Reynolds Associates. Announcements of CMO moves rose 25 percent across North America in 2020, with 523 publicly disclosed appointments, up from 420 in 2019, according to the research. And there was an uptick in hiring as the year progressed, with 282 CMO moves in North America coming in the latter half of 2020, up from 241 in the first six months of the year.

Chief Marketing Officers Gaining Momentum As Business Game Changers
Today’s CMO works with the CEO to accelerate the organization and drive transformation. CMOs also collaborate with other members of the C-suite, especially with a company’s top HR executive to shape the company brand. 

The turnover came as companies overhauled their organizations during the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to reach consumers whose buying patterns are rapidly evolving. “It has challenged leaders to evolve quicker, innovate faster and cope resiliently,” the report said.

Russell Reynolds also highlighted the number of newly-created roles that were filled, with 17 percent of appointments in the latest six months coming in positions such as chief customer officer, chief commercial officer and chief growth officer that were new at their organizations. Among chief customer officer appointments, 50 percent were into newly-created roles, with the other 50 percent replacing previous chief customer officers. It continues a trend that hit full stride in 2019 of companies crafting new titles that consolidate marketing duties with executives who have broader mandates that often include sales and commercial functions such as product development, retail oversight and more. Russell Reynolds also found a higher percentage of women filling top marketing roles when compared to other leadership roles.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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