With the recent news of When I Work hiring its first-ever CFO, we caught up with the person chosen for the job — Greg Wallace — for a quick Follow-Up Five about the position, When I Work in 2021, and some advice for startups in earlier stages.
tech.mn: How does it feel to be When I Work’s first ever CFO? Has the conversation about your new role been happening for a while?
Greg Wallace: I am honored to fill this role for When I Work. I have always been focused on where I can best help grow When I Work, both financially and culturally. I’m excited to have made a positive impact on the business in my first five years and I look forward to continuing to make a difference as When I Work’s first CFO.
tech.mn: After a tumultuous year (to say the least), how are you looking to strengthen the company in 2021 in your new role?
Greg Wallace: I will continue to partner with When I Work’s CEO, Martin Hartshorne, and other members of the leadership team to drive the company forward to achieve our goals. Additionally, I will continue to build out our finance, IT, data and legal teams to help support and scale When I Work through our next chapter of our story.
tech.mn: What traits make you the right person to help guide the company toward its goal of tripling value over the next several years?
Greg Wallace: My past experience leading mergers and acquisitions and raising venture capital, in addition to my When I Work industry experience, sets me up for success as we head into our most ambitious financial growth goals yet.
tech.mn: Overseeing several teams (finance, legal, IT, data) seems like a tough job. What kind of mindset do you approach that task with? How do you give each the time it needs while maintaining focus on a bigger picture?
Greg Wallace: The mindset and approach are very easy with managing several teams; you hire really awesome team members. My mindset has always been to empower and support your team, keeping an open-door policy and 1:1 meetings have been a helpful way to make sure I am able to know where I can help.
tech.mn: Lastly, we have a lot of smaller startups reading tech.mn. What’s one piece of growth advice you can give them during the early years of a business?
Greg Wallace: EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) is good. Cash is finite and dilution can be expensive with startups. When you are in growth mode, use your cash wisely and make sure you are spending it to increase the value of the business. This is especially important when looking to grow your employee base rapidly, it’s not bad to slow down to allow for the business to catch up and understand where you have created value.