Bench has a new president and CFO as its co-founder Ian Crosby is no longer the FinTech startup’s CEO.
Bench announced the new president, Jean-Philippe (JP) Durrios, on Thursday while BetaKit confirmed with Crosby that he has left the company.
“Yeah, I told everyone I was ready to move on to the next thing,” Crosby told BetaKit in an interview. The announcement of his departure was made at an all-hands meeting on January 10 at Bench’s headquarters in Vancouver.
Crosby would not confirm if the board let him go. Crosby said they had a good discussion, but referred BetaKit to the company for comment. “I have nothing but the best goodwill with them and Bench,” he said.
On his first day on the job, Durrios told BetaKit that Crosby had made a decision to step away from his role as CEO, and that the board gave him their full support in his decision.
“We are really grateful for Ian’s visionary leadership and service over the last decade,” Durrios said. “It’s phenomenal what he’s built.”
Durrios said the board is currently engaged in the search for a new CEO. “Obviously it’s as soon as possible,” he said in reference to installing a new executive. “But we want to make sure we have the right leader to really help us execute the growth and really enable the company to reach its full vision.”
Bench said In the interim, Chris Berry, SVP of Revenue and Operations, and Durrios are working together as the startup’s senior executives.
Crosby’s departure comes only eight months after the company’s $73 million Series C round.
Crosby said he wasn’t ready to talk about his next move, but added, “I’ll be ready to talk about it soon.”
When he was 23 years of age, Crosby started Bench out of his Toronto apartment in 2010. The other co-founders of Bench, all of whom have previously left the company, were Jordan Menashy, Adam Saint, and Pavel Rodionov.
Crosby said being a CEO was really hard. “I haven’t known what it’s like to depressurize for 11 years. I was just sleeping when you called,” Crosby laughed.
He called his time at Bench the experience of a lifetime. Crosby noted he spent almost his entire professional life there. “I grew it to a 700 person company,” he recalled. “The amount of learning was immense.”
Seeing the people on his staff grow is what made Crosby proudest of his time spent there. “I loved the people,” he said. “There were some people who joined as interns and by the time I left who were VPs. Watching people grow is immensely rewarding.”
Durrios joins Bench as the startup’s first president and CFO. Durrios brings 20-plus years of finance and operations experience in the tech industry. He joins Bench from DISQO, where he was CFO and COO for the consumer insights platform. Before that, he led strategic finance and operations at vertical SaaS leader ServiceTitan during its growth phase.
Durrios has also held leadership positions at other tech companies, including MarketShare (acquired by Neustar), Yahoo! and Overture, the company that pioneered paid search.
Bench has raised over $100 million in funding to date from investors such as Bain Capital, Inovia Capital, Altos Ventures, Contour Ventures, Bank of Montreal, Sage, and Shopify.
Its most recent round was in mid-2021 when it raised almost $73 million CAD in Series C financing. That round also marked Shopify’s first investment in Bench.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Bench was co-founded out of New York. The startup touts itself as “the largest bookkeeping service in America for small business.” The bookkeeping and tax advisory startup claims to have 12,000 US clients.
Under its original name, 10sheet Inc., Bench participated in Techstar’s New York City accelerator program in 2012. The following year it raised $2 million in seed financing, and publicly launched. That same year, the startup moved to Vancouver and changed its name to Bench.
Bench’s business was initially hit hard by COVID-19 in 2020, and forced the startup to restructure its financial plan and lay off 10 percent of its workforce. However, after it refocused to help small businesses in the US apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Bench saw its sales double and re-hired previously laid-off workers.
“JP will bring a visionary perspective and leadership to our finance and technology divisions on how to propel a well-capitalized and successful business to even greater heights,” said Bench’s executive chair, David Baga.
Durrios said that his first order of business would be to meet as many of the startup’s staff as possible. “I have a lot to learn, he said.”I want to make sure I understand the business very well and really partner with the team across the board to drive our strategy forward.”
Update (01/27/22): this article has updated following interviews with Bench’s new president.