MindBridge headlines slew of #CDNtech companies making executive leadership changes

Stephen DeWitt - MindBridge
ActiveState, Acuity Insights, AnalytixInsight, Volaris Group, Flashfood also named new CEOs just this week.

Ottawa-based MindBridge has appointed Stephen DeWitt to serve as its new CEO, marking the latest leadership change in an unprecedented wave of Canadian tech executive turnover.

DeWitt will replace interim CEO and veteran American software executive Bill Hewitt, who has served in the role at MindBridge since July 2023. Hewitt will remain on the company’s board of directors, according to a statement from MindBridge.

These announcements add to a tidal wave of leadership changes at tech companies in the last month.

DeWitt most recently served as CEO of enterprise software delivery firm Cloudbees. He is also the former CEO of WorkMarket, where he led the company’s sale to ADP, and led Cobalt Networks from its earliest stages through its IPO and subsequent acquisition by Sun. DeWitt has also sat on the board of Kitchener-Waterloo EdTech unicorn ApplyBoard since June 2023.

Founded in 2015, MindBridge describes itself as “the world’s leading AI-powered financial risk discovery platform.” The startup sells software that helps auditors spot fraud and accounting anomalies using AI. MindBridge caters to auditors, accountants, and financial professionals in the accounting, advisory, enterprise, government, and finance sectors.

MindBridge saw two major executive departures in 2023, including that of CEO Leyton Perris, who left for undisclosed reasons, and founder and chief development officer Solon Angel—who later joined Fresh Founders as managing partner.” The executive changes coincided with MindBridge announcing $60 million USD in funding led by PSG Equity.

MindBridge joins a growing list of companies that have recently announced changes in their leadership. This past week, ActiveState, AnalytixInsight, Acuity Insights, Volaris Group, and Flashfood have all experienced transitions at the CEO level.

Toronto-based data analytics and enterprise software company AnalytixInsight announced that its CEO, president, and chair Prakash Hariharan resigned. Natalie Hirsch, AnalytixInsight’s COO, has been appointed as the interim president and CEO.

Also this week, Stephen Baker replaced Bart Copeland as CEO of Vancouver developer startup ActiveState, while Matt Holland replaced Rich Emrich as CEO of Toronto EdTech startup Acuity Insights. Mississauga-based Volaris Group, an acquirer of software businesses, appointed Michael Dufton to CEO and Mark Miller to the newly created role of executive chairman.

Toronto-based discounted food marketplace Flashfood has also named president Nicholas Bertram as its next CEO, replacing founder Josh Domingues. Domingues has become executive chair, while Flashfood chief brand officer Jordan Schenck has taken on the new role of chief customer officer.

These announcements add to what has been a growing tidal wave of leadership changes at Canadian tech companies and organizations that began at the end of 2023. Some CEO replacements were expected as part of a substitution process following the retirement of previous leaders, such as with MaRS Discovery District and MindBridge. 

Other CEOs recently opted to either retire or step into new roles or industries, such as Ross Wainwright, who departed Alida this month; Stuart Lombard, who departed Ecobee in the fall; and Ali Asaria, who departed Tulip in late December.

Other departures however, were not as expected. This week, NowVertical replaced CEO Sasha Grujicic in an effort to put the company “back on track for growth,” and earlier this month, BetaKit was also the first to report that Top Hat’s CEO Joe Rohrlich and CRO Matt Schurk had departed the company last week for new roles at Recurly and Auctane, respectively, with the company yet to appoint replacements. Untether AI also appointed former Intel leader and Untether AI president Chris Walker as CEO, but offered little detail behind the rationale for the change.

UPDATE (01/17/24): This story was updated to note that Flashfood also changed CEOs this week.

Feature image courtesy of MindBridge.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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