February 9th, 2021 Read Time: 2 minutes
Ryan Denehy is the CEO & Founder of Electric, an IT solutions company reinventing how businesses manage their IT.
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This is an announcement I’ve been excited to make even before we signed the paperwork.
A lot of companies publish a boring press release when they hire a new independent director, but I wanted to share my thoughts on our decision.
First, an independent board member can (and should) be an extremely high-leverage resource for a CEO and their management team. For a lot of growth stage startups the board is made up almost entirely of major investors and maybe a founder or two. As the company scales the ‘connective tissue’ between long-term strategy and day-to-day execution becomes critically important.
It doesn’t matter how seasoned you or your management team is, nobody has all the answers. Worse, nobody inside the company has the benefit of an outside perspective. The ideal independent director can be your big unlock here–they sit far enough away from the action to think with an outside perspective, but close enough to weigh in on a strategy or sets of tactics with team members.
This is the best case scenario. However, far too many companies fill the seat simply to fill the seat, optimizing for a candidate who has the right Fortune 500 logo or set of buzzwords on their resume but is otherwise not set up to be a true resource for management. This is also where a lot of companies miss when it comes to diversity–you want your company and senior management to be diverse, but the board has to reflect that too because it will ultimately lead to high-quality decisions that are aligned with the company as a whole.
With all that said, the decision to bring on Emmanuelle checked all the boxes we had in mind. I wanted to find someone who could be a resource for me and the company. This meant a combination of domain expertise and relevant management scaling experience; and she indexed off-the-charts on both. Specifically she brings domain expertise in the SMB software space, management experience across sales and customer success, and high-growth operating experience from zero to hundreds of millions in ARR.
As we get focused on our next chapter of growth and creating a world-class customer experience I can’t think of a better voice to have in the boardroom than Emmanuelle’s!!