April 5, 2022 – ON Partners has assisted in the recruitment of Dean Gels as chief financial officer of LRN Corp. in New York. Managing partner Tim Conti and Tindall Hein led the assignment. Kevin Michielsen, LRN’s chief executive officer, said Mr. Gels was hired for his robust experience as a financial executive for tech and service-based companies. “Dean is a fantastic addition to the leadership team—he perfectly complements our visionary professionals who are paving the way forward for LRN as we enter a bold new era for the business,” he said.
With over 20 years of corporate finance and leadership experience, Mr. Gels worked early in his career as a tech investment banker at RBC Capital Markets, completing more than 40 deals amounting to $17 billion in aggregate transaction value. He then served as vice president of corporate development at Borderfree managing the sale of the business to Pitney Bowes for $489 million. He was later CFO at OVH US, managing the company’s U.S. expansion via its acquisition of VMWare’s vCloudAir Division. Most recently, Mr. Gels was CFO at MSA Security where he spearheaded the company’s growth into new markets.
“I’m excited to bring my experience to LRN and lead the financial team during an exciting, growth-focused time for this organization,” said Mr. Gels. “LRN is a vibrant company and pioneer in the ethics and compliance industry. My experience as a CFO for growth-minded tech companies and background as a technology investment banker offers a diverse perspective that I feel will provide valuable insights for LRN in this moment for the company.”
Since 1994, LRN has worked to propel organizations forward with the partnership, knowledge, and tools to build ethical culture, said the company. More than 1,000 companies and 30 million learners worldwide use LRN services and take LRN courses to help navigate complex regulatory environments and foster ethical, responsible, and inclusive cultures.
Last year, ON Partners placed Parijat Jauhari as chief product and technology officer of LPN. Mr. Jauhari joined LRN from Qu, a commerce platform in which he led the complete redesign of the existing SaaS product line that led to Qu becoming a leader in its market segment. He also helped launch a category-first mobile voice and search-based analytics product using best practices in data science. Before that, he led the transformation of the legacy product at Fishbowl into a data-driven omnichannel marketing platform and successful exit through a sale.
“Since climate change, sustainability, and social justice have risen to the foreground on CEOs’ business priorities, it is a great time to be working in this field,” Mr. Jauhari said. “I have always believed that you cannot have compliance without a strong organizational culture and ethical baseline. I look forward to working with everyone at LRN to enable our mission of inspiring principled performance for our client partners.”
With a primary focus on technology, consumer, industrial, and the life science sectors, ON Partners recruits C-level and board talent for public and private companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms. Founded in 2006, the firm’s consultants work from offices in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Menlo Park, CA; Minneapolis. MN; San Francisco; and New York. ON Partners is one of the fastest growing search firms and this year is ranked as one of the Top 20 recruiting platforms in the nation by Hunt Scanlon Media.
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Mr. Conti, who has worked in executive search for more than 15 years, has completed upwards of 150 C-level and board searches across a range of industries. His focus is on public, private equity, and venture capital organizations. Mr. Conti also serves as a member of the ON Partners executive committee.
Ms. Hein builds executive leadership teams at growth equity, private equity, and Fortune 500 companies. She serves a range of positions across CEO, operating partner, and VP-level executive roles with strong focus on diversity placements with a focus on industrial and technology sectors.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media