Meet A Minnesota Tech CFO: Kim Nelson, SPS Commerce

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Thanks to local commercial real estate pros CBRE for sponsoring our new Meet A Minnesota Tech CFO series!

The CFO: Kim Nelson, SPS Commerce

When and how did you get started in your finance career, specifically within the tech industry?

I started my Finance career in 1989, after graduating from Babson College. After 11 years in the CPG industry, I was looking for a change, a faster paced environment. In 2000, I had the opportunity to work at Amazon and I have been in the tech industry ever since. I can’t imagine ever leaving technology!

What is unique about your role with the technology industry, compared to other industries?

Things are much faster paced in technology– you need to be able to balance growth and scaling, while staying on top of current trends and needs.

What do you find most interesting or challenging about being a modern-day CFO?

The variety! I love helping to set the strategy and direction of the company, while being involved in day to day activities, and communicating our approach to shareholders.

CBRE

Why did you decide to move from Amazon to SPS Commerce?

I was looking for an opportunity to have more direct impact on a business. There are many similarities with SPS and Amazon – both disruptive in their industries and a clear leader with focus on customer experience. When I joined SPS, we were about $30 million in revenue. Today, SPS is around $200 million in revenue and one billion dollar market cap. And we’re just getting started! It is so much fun being part of a fast paced, dynamic company with a multi-billion dollar total addressable market.

How is success measured in your role as a CFO?

Am I having an impact, and being held accountable, for short term, medium term and long term strategy and execution? And of course, being a publicly traded company, maximizing shareholder value creation over time.

What do you enjoy doing with your time outside of the office?

Outside of the office, I enjoy time with my boys, one in middle school and one in high school. When I am not watching their sports and taking them to and from places, I enjoy travel and spending time with family and friends.

What advice would you have for someone in finance who wants to become a CFO?

Learn as much as possible, embrace change, and don’t be afraid to take a risk!

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