October 19, 2021 – Chief financial officers continue to be in high demand. Finding them is keeping many of the nation’s top recruitment operations busier than ever. SPMB, an executive search firm that helps find transformative executives throughout Silicon Valley, has assisted in the placement of Anna Nitschke as the new CFO of Pear VC. Suzanne Heske, who heads SPMB’s investment practice, led the assignment.
“Our journey to finding the perfect partner for Pear was deliberate and extensive, as we screened over 380 candidates,” said Pear VC. “When we met Anna, we knew she was the right partner. Anna exudes the Pear DNA: smart, ambitious, humble, and a team player with a wealth of experience.” Ms. Nitschke will manage all financial functions and internal operations of the firm and its funds, spanning across fundraising, fund finance strategy, portfolio monitoring and more. She will also provide essential support to the VC firm’s companies and make connections to its partners and resources. Pear’s portfolio over the past eight years has grown to be worth over $90 billion.”
Prior to Pear, Ms. Nitschke led finance and operations at Eniac Ventures. Before entering the venture capital world, she worked in business operations for over a decade at various start-ups, using her broad background in finance, human resources, and administration management to help companies scale.
In 2004, Ms. Nitschke moved from Europe to California for college, and she graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in business management economics. She is an active member of various Bay Area and New York City venture finance groups and a volunteer mentor with several organizations.
For over 40 years, SPMB has worked alongside its clients to build executive teams that ensure venture capital and private equity-backed game-changers achieve scale, and position multi-billion-dollar public companies to unlock innovation. Specializing in technology and innovation, SPMB recruits upper management and board members to growth-oriented companies in tech, consumer, and sustainability industries. SPMB has also placed dozens of senior executives at the portfolio companies of leading private equity firm partners including Blackstone, KKR and TPG.
Ms. Heske joined SPMB in 2019 to spearhead its investment practice. She is focused on recruiting transformational leaders to private equity, venture capital and asset management firms. Ms. Heske is also leading the firm’s cryptocurrency and blockchain efforts. She joined SPMB from Caldwell Partners, where she ran the firm’s West Coast financial services team. Prior to becoming an executive search professional, Ms. Heske spent 15 years working for financial services companies, including Merrill Lynch, Fidelity, and Piper Jaffray as an institutional salesperson.
This spring, SPMB assisted in the placement of former Apple creative leader Steve Turner as chief experience officer of Impossible Foods. Partner Becky Stein led the search. “Steve Turner was the best of an exceptionally talented group of all-star candidates to take Impossible to the next level of brand love and recognition,” said Pat Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods. “Steve stood out for his unusually broad range of experiences across technology, entertainment, sports and health industries, in both the United States and Europe. I’m positive he will help transform Impossible Foods into the world’s most beloved brand.”
In 2017, Mr. Turner founded Sublime, a strategic creative consulting firm that advises CEOs, CMOs and other executives. Before that, he spent 11 years at Apple, where he rose to global executive creative director for Apple’s Media Arts Lab. He worked with Steve Jobs and helped launch Apple’s unprecedented stream of disruptive new technologies from iPod+iTunes, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Music. Mr. Turner has also worked with Jimmy Iovine at Beats and Phil Knight at Nike. As both an internal employee and a consultant, he’s helped guide the creative work for some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Apple, Adidas, Apeel, Beautycounter, Bird, Lululemon, Samsung, Quiet, Nike and the BBC.
SPMB Recruits CEO for Shutterfly
The private equity sector is witnessing an explosive bidding war for top leaders as portfolio companies expand their needs for C-suite talent. SPMB, an executive search firm that helps find transformative executives throughout Silicon Valley, recently placed Hilary Schneider as the new CEO of Shutterfly, which was acquired earlier this year by private equity firm Apollo Global Management. She succeeds Ryan O’Hara, effective Jan. 15. Partner Becky Stein led the search.
“Hilary is an accomplished executive with significant digital industry expertise and a focus on innovation and superior customer experiences that will support Shutterfly’s next chapter,” said Reed Rayman of the Apollo private equity team and a member of Shutterfly’s board of directors. “We look forward to partnering with Hilary as well as the Shutterfly management team and employees to grow its three divisions and deliver the best products and services to consumers.”
In this newly created role with Impossible Foods, Mr. Turner is in charge of building brand awareness and accelerating the global consumer movement to a sustainable food system. He’s a key member of the company’s senior executive team and reports directly to CEO and founder Pat Brown.
Mr. Turner arrives as the Redwood City, CA food tech start-up accelerates growth and takes advantage of mounting economies of scale, from manufacturing to marketing. “Impossible Foods is solving the existential threats of global warming and biodiversity collapse,” Mr. Turner said. “The moment I discovered the company’s inspiring mission, I wanted to be a part of it. The team at Impossible Foods is truly making the impossible possible.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media