Influitive loses CFO and VP of marketing, trims staff to extend runway


Influitive has lost key members of its staff today, BetaKit has learned. Among those departing were Paul Marshall, Influitive’s CFO and SVP of operations, and Jim Williams, the company’s VP of marketing, as part of a leadership shakeup.

Influitive has tapped VP of business development Chris Newton to also run marketing. Puneet Sign Arora will now take over as director of finance and operations, guided by Wilson Lee, the company’s first CFO.

The moves were confirmed by Influitive CEO Mark Organ, who said the changes “will accelerate our path to profitability and provide us with ample time to make that happen.” Organ also said that Marshall and Williams will stick on to the end of the month to ease the transition.

YoY growth rate slowed significantly after crossing $10M ARR last year.

In addition to the leadership changes, sales, marketing and product staff were also laid off, bringing the overall total to nine (this number does not include staff that have recently left and will not be backfilled). The number is similar to Influitive’s layoffs last August, when the company laid off 19 people, 13 percent of its staff. Speaking with BetaKit at the time, Williams said that the company was turning its focus to sustainability rather than growth in head count.

Williams mentioned that investors were favouring “efficient” over “absolute” growth, and that Influitive was more conservative after the first quarter. However, he denied that there was pressure from their investors.

“Fast-growing startups build a business plan based on results, so over the last couple of years with the influx of venture dollars, our business has grown. And with revenue potential, we staff up and get talent because good people are what ensures the business plan,” Williams said at the time. “That’s changing…it’s not about growth in headcount. It’s about efficient growth, and quite frankly, setting up for the long-term.”

According to sources familiar with Influitive’s operations, the changes are a result of stalling revenue growth last year, where YoY growth rate slowed significantly after crossing $10M ARR. While Influitive still has a healthy reserve of cash in the bank thanks to $47 million in funding raised last year, the decision was made to significantly reduce its burn rate in order to maintain a two-year runway. The company is also reportedly considering raising debt.

The company recently released a new product, Upshot, which allows marketers to identify customers with “authentic” stories and speed up the story-generation process and promote their brand. Influitive also added a former Salesforce director to its team: David Priemer, Salesforce’s former VP of commercial sales and resident sales leadership evangelist, joined as VP of sales, following Jesse Goldman, former senior director at Salesforce, who joined as VP of customer success last May.

Additional reporting by Douglas Soltys.
Update (02/03/17): this artice was updated to provide additional information regarding the transition of Influitive’s outgoing executives.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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