September 21, 2022 – ON Partners has assisted in the recruitment of Dolly DeNyse as chief revenue officer of Arbolus, a London-based knowledge-sharing platform. Partner Seth Harris led the assignment. “Dolly is such an exciting hire for us at the perfect time,” said Sam Glasswell, CEO. “Arbolus has evolved from its roots of improving the user experience in the expert network industry, towards a full-scale insight and market data platform. Our customers today use the platform not just for gathering individual expert insights, but also to deliver surveys or gather customer sentiment analysis or as an improved way to carry out secondary research instead of using static industry reports.”
“Dolly’s experience at Kantar, one of the most diversified global research groups, will accelerate this evolution of the company,” Mr. Glasswell said. “Plus, she has the rare virtues of absolute authenticity and humility. We can’t wait to start working with her.”
Ms. DeNyse is a senior executive with 25 years of continuous experience successfully scaling revenues and leading large commercial teams. She previously served as chief revenue officer at Kantar, the $4 billion market research firm owned by Bain Capital. In her role at Kantar, she led sales and marketing across North America. Prior to her role as CRO, Ms. DeNyse held various roles at Kantar, including chief sales officer for Kantar Insights, the company’s largest division within North America, and head of sales for Kantar Millward Brown.
Arbolus was founded in 2018 with a mission to make human knowledge digital. Their platform is a disruptor to traditional expert networks, and allows for more flexible knowledge sharing, for example through the medium of video via their new Canopy tool. Following significant growth in recent years, particularly in the U.S., the role of chief revenue officer is a timely addition to Arbolus’ leadership team.
Ms. DeNyse will be responsible for global revenue across all product groups, setting the strategy for continued and increased growth and maintaining a best-in-class culture across all parts of the company. She will have overall ownership of sales and marketing, customer success, account management and professional services, ensuring alignment and performance of all of Arbolus’ revenue-generating departments to drive continued growth. Ms. DeNyse will also be instrumental in growing Arbolus’ footprint in North America, and serve as a member of Arbolus’ executive committee, partnering with the founders to define and execute Arbolus’ vision and strategic plan.
“Our industry is undergoing rapid change, and Arbolus is well positioned to further transform the global knowledge network space and beyond, providing meaningful connections for our clients in a seamless and tech-enabled way,” said Ms. DeNyse. “I am excited to join Arbolus at this important juncture, to help accelerate the strategy and plans for the company, continuing their journey operating at the intersection of expert knowledge, technology, data, and analytics.”
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 was named one of the fastest growing search firms this year by Hunt Scanlon Media. The firm is now ranked as one of the 20 largest search firms in the nation.
Mr. Harris has 20-plus years of retained executive search experience and focuses on the technology sector including SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, managed services, and IoT. He has over 375 completed executive searches across technology and enterprise functions. Mr. Harris’ clients range from late-stage VC- backed, mid-cap, growth/ private equity to global multinational organizations.
The chief revenue officer essentially owns everything that goes to market – sales, account management, customer success, and sometimes marketing as well, according to a recent report from ON Partners. Ten years ago, there was no such position as the CRO. The role was known as head of global sales or VP of sales, depending on how companies defined the role. But as executives in that position continued to see other key functional experts reporting directly to the CEO, they wanted a seat at the executive table as well.
According to ON Partners, the CRO role demands different skill-sets depending on the client. “For a smaller growth company, someone who thrives in an early-stage environment and enjoys building things from scratch – hiring, putting key tools and processes in place – requires a unique person who is good at the heavy lifting required to acquire market share and evangelize,” the firm said.
That person can be different from one needed by a more established company doing $10 million to $20 million per year in revenue, who understands how to improve on and tweak the work of his or her predecessor, according to ON Partners. For a $100 million-plus organization, the CRO needs to understand how to lead large teams in a complex, matrixed environment selling across multiple market segments on a global basis. That said, certain qualities remain consistent. Every CRO must know how to hire the right team, lead good people, and have a strong sense of how to build and scale a company.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media