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More C-suite changes afoot in B.C. tech sector as Cymax makes new hires

More than a dozen notable tech companies have made major changes to executive ranks since start of 2022
Cymax is just the latest B.C. tech company to recently reshape its executive ranks | Credit: Terrry Vine / The Image Bank / Getty Images

The changing C-suite landscape in B.C.’s tech sector got off to a roaring start this year with major shuffles among the executive ranks in Janaury.

So far, it doesn’t look to be a sleepy summer in that regard, either.

Cymax Group Technologies Ltd. is the latest high-profile company to make changes, hiring Mike Herenberg as its chief operating officer following a two-year tour of duty in the same capacity at Toronto-based Quorom Information Technologies.

The Vancouver e-commerce company, best known for facilitating furniture sales, also revealed Wednesday (July 13) it had promoted vice-president of analytics Brad Kent to the chief technology officer position.

Travis Huff also joins Cymax as its vice-president of sales for its freight club division.

Cymax was busy adding to its executive ranks back in January, hiring Shouvik Roy as its new chief financial officer after Faheem Gwadry departed last year.

"In these turbulent market conditions, we are focused on responsible growth and have bolstered our foundations with these key appointments," said CEO Riz Somji said in a statement.

Meanwhile, clean energy company General Fusion announced last week it had promoted then-CFO Greg Twinney to the top job after CEO Christofer Mowry resigned.

PDFTron Systems Inc. saw co-founder/CEO Catherine Andersz and co-founder/CTO Ivan Nincic depart in April, replaced by Cassidy Smirnow and Joel Martins, respectively.

Andersz and Nincic remain board directors at the company best known for competing with Adobe Inc. (Nasdaq:ADBE) in the realm of document processing tools.

January alone saw two of B.C.’s $1-billion unicorns replace their CEOs (GeoComply Solutions Inc. and Zymeworks Inc.), while another replaced its CFO (Themis Solutions Inc., better known as Clio).

Stephanie Hollingshead, CEO of Vancouver-based Tech and People (TAP) Network, told BIV at the time that the recent burst of C-suite shuffles was unusual for the province’s tech scene.

A 2021 TAP survey found respondents' average planned headcount growth for last year was 37%, “which is really high,” she said. 

“You think about all the additional hiring needed in a sector that’s growing, and that plays out in additional executive roles as well.”

Notable B.C. tech sector C-suite shuffles of 2022:

  • GeoComply Solutions Inc.: co-founder Anna Sainsbury hired as CEO; replaces co-founder David Briggs
  • Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE:ZYME): former board member Kenneth Galbraith hired as CEO; replaces co-founder Ali Tehrani
  • Clio (Themis Solutions Inc.): Curt Sigfstead hired as chief financial officer; replaces Rob Froment
  • Trulioo Information Services Inc.: Michael Ramsbacker hired as first chief product officer
  • Mogo Inc. (TSX:MOGO): Allan Smith hired as first chief people officer
  • Technologies Inc. (TSXV:BILD): David Lazar hired as interim CEO; replaces Dan Park (announced in October 2021, effective January 2022)
  • Cymax Group Technologies Ltd. (January): Shouvik Roy hired as chief financial officer; replaces Faheem Gwadry
  • Canada Drives Ltd.: Darcy Reno hired as chief technology officer
  • Bench Accounting Inc.: Jean-Philippe (JP) Durrios hired as first president and CFO 
  • Copperleaf Technologies Inc. (TSX:CPLF): Miranda Alldritt departs as president
  • Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. (Nasdaq:SOLO): Kim Brinks hired as first chief revenue officer; co-founder Henry Reisner resigns as executive vice-president and board member one week later
  • PDFTron Systems Inc.: Cassidy Smirnow hired as CEO, Joel Martins hired as CTO; replace co-founders Catherine Andersz and Ivan Nincic, respectively 
  • General Fusion Inc.: Greg Twinney promoted to CEO; replaces Christofer Mowry
  • Cymax Group Technologies Ltd. (July): Mike Herenberg hired as chief operating officer, Brad Kent promoted to CTO, Travis Huff hired as vice-president of sales, freight club division

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