Breather has announced that Philippe Bouffaut, former head of engineering in Canada for Cision, will take the role of Breather’s CTO.
Bouffaut will be in charge of expanding Breather’s product suite, which allows people to book office spaces on-demand for short offsites and long-term purposes. CEO Bryan Murphy, who joined in January 2019, recently told BetaKit that Breather’s office product has been growing more than 300 percent year-over-year since it launched in October 2018.
“Now is the time to amplify the company’s existing technology to meet the next wave of flexible workspace needs and office management priorities.”
As the new CTO, Bouffaut will expand Breather’s product suite to target office managers. The coworking company wants to build a portal that allows office managers to complete tasks like ordering groceries without visiting a separate homepage, and allowing employees who forgot their keycard to request a code to open the door. The company does not yet have a release date for the new product suite.
“Right now nearly half of our customers are high growth companies like startups which just received a round of funding,” Bouffaut told BetaKit. “These companies usually have an office manager who wears many hats to keep the company growing – think everything from ordering supplies or furniture to managing human resources functions.”
Over the next year, Bouffaut will also be hiring engineering talent for the company’s Montreal office.
“One of my key tasks over the next several months is to conduct a thorough audit of the engineering team to identify the skill sets we have on staff, as well as the areas we need to build out,” he said. “The results [of the audit] will determine how many people we’ll hire.”
Bouffat said that Montreal’s bilingualism, openness to immigration, and entrepreneurial culture were factors into Breather’s decision to hire engineering talent in Montreal.
“Breather already has a platform that takes the friction out of the office renting experience, [offering] the ability to find and secure space on the terms that make sense for your business whether by the hour, day, week, multi-month or more,” said Bouffaut. “Now is the time to amplify the company’s existing technology to meet the next wave of flexible workspace needs and office management priorities. The role of office space and real-estate managers is shifting rapidly and I am excited to develop the tech stack needed to help them succeed.”
Before joining Breather, Bouffaut acted as vice president of products and engineering at Cision, where he developed a cloud-based communication platform product and software applications. Before that, Bouffaut spent almost 20 years at CEDROM Technologies as product director and vice president of products and engineering, where he created an AI-based media monitoring product that sold to Cision for an undisclosed price.
“Our first priority was making the office renting process as easy as calling a cab and we’ve succeeded in setting a best-in-class precedent,” said Murphy. “What lays ahead of us is equally transformational for the customer experience and Philippe is the executive to execute on our vision.”
Breather has 500 private spaces in 10 markets globally, and has served more than 500,000 clients, including American Express, Spotify, Away, and Tesla. In July, Breather stated that it had opened 12 new locations on the West Coast of the US, with 10 of those spaces opening in San Francisco in the last month.