SaaS Revolution Show

How to hire executives by scrapping the Silicon Valley playbook

The latest guest on the SaaS Revolution Show is Alex Fala, CEO of New Zealand company Vend. One of the speakers at SaaStock Oceania, which takes place on December 6th in Sydney, he gives a taster of the topic he will cover extensively at the event: how to hire executives without using the Silicon Valley playbook, which Alex deems irrelevant unless you are the hottest company in the Bay area.

Vend was founded in 2011 and Alex joined in March 2015 as VP of Strategy. Three months later he became CFO. In both roles, he focused on the business and commercial side of things. By February 2016, then CEO and sole founder Vaughan Rowsell decided it was time to let someone else lead the company while he focused on the product side of things, which was his passion to begin with. Alex was put in place as acting CEO while the board searched for a permanent one. Four months into the search and Alex’s tenure, they figured he was the best person for the job and kept him.

First order of business for Alex was pivoting the company structure to fit the different go-to-market strategy he believed was necessary to truly scale the company.

Two and a half years later, the company is 250 people strong with half of the team based in its HQ in Auckland, New Zealand and the rest spread in offices in London, Toronto, San Francisco, Melbourne, and a few other places. Alex has successfully hired 7 of his 9 direct reports in the last year.

Listen on to learn:
  • Why he so steadfastly believes that the more traditional, Silicon Valley, playbook does not work outside
  • How Alex approached hiring instead
  • What are the things that have helped Alex the most to keep people aligned throughout all the different offices

After an amazing first SaaStock Oceania event, we will be back next year. Dates, tickets and more here.