In the months following Shopify’ IPO, Harley Finkelstein, then the company’s chief platform officer, became a familiar face to the general public, talking about the conditions that created Shopify’s success and vouching for the potential of the Canadian startup ecosystem.
According to a report from The Globe and Mail, Finkelstein has moved to the position of chief operating officer at Shopify. In his new role, Finkelstein will lead interactions and communications with the 200,000 merchants using Shopify, as well as the company’s external initiatives.
CEO and co-founder Tobi Lutke said that the change will allow him to focus on his strengths, which include product, technology, and people systems.
“Harley has the full confidence of me and the rest of the company to handle other top-level responsibilities,” Lutke said.
Finkelstein started with Shopify in the days when the company had less than 20 employees. He was one of the first Shopify merchants to sell T-shirts online in the late 2000s, and offered Lutke so much feedback about the platform and requests for discounts that the company offered to waive his monthly fee. It’s a story that Finkelstein recalled when he was accepted the CIX innovator of the year award on behalf of Shopify. Both at that event and during many other appearances, Finkelstein has demonstrated a commitment to maintaining Shopify’s culture.
“I’m doing my life’s work with this company and I’m humbled I can work with the smartest dude I know … and allow him to focus on product, which is where we get the most value from him.” Finkelstein said about the change.