Alex Benay, the former CIO of Canada, has left his role at Ottawa-based Mindbridge after a short few months stint.
The news came Thursday, when KPMG announced that Benay was joining the accounting and professional services organization as partner of digital and government solutions. Benay originally announced that he was joining Mindbridge in August, after spending almost two and a half years as the CIO for the Government of Canada.
The former CIO of Canada was meant to be responsible for Mindbridge’s global growth.
Benay joined the AI startup as its chief client officer and, at the time, was set to officially take on the role on September 3rd. According to Benay’s LinkedIn, he joined Mindbridge in August, but if the September 3rd start date is correct, Benay would have only been at Mindbridge for around three months. The former CIO of Canada was meant to be responsible for Mindbridge’s global growth as the company looked to prepare for an IPO in 2021.
Benay told The Globe and Mail that his decision to leave Mindbridge was not a question of fit, or that he considered the move a mistake. He attributed his decision to leave to conversations with Mindbridge customer KPMG, over a period of three weeks. Benay told The Globe that he was drawn to the KPMG opportunity to lead its digital and government solutions practice, something that was more familiar to him given his previous role.
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Mindbridge has not completely lost what was touted as a start hire, though, as Benay will be staying on as an advisor to the startup. “This isn’t a cutting the cord and moving on to something else completely,” Benay told The Globe. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”
“We fully support Alex’s choice to move to KPMG and we’re delighted to continue working with him and the KPMG team as advisors to us,” Miyo Yamashita, Mindbridge’s chief strategy officer, who joined shortly before Benay, told BetaKit.
“MindBridge remains committed to its strategy of uncovering unknowns in financial data to help auditors and other business leaders make decisions with confidence,” she added. “We continue to be on track for achieving our goal of IPO readiness.”
When Benay announced plans to join Mindbridge in August, Mindbridge CEO Eli Fathi stated that the startup was fortunate to be able to attract top leaders like Benay. The now-former chief client officer was meant to help Mindbridge prepare for the potential of joining public, after it had raised more than $29.6 million in funding this year from the federal government and private investors. Fathi told BetaKit earlier this year that Mindbridge plans to be IPO-ready by December 2021.
Update: this story has been updated with Mindbridge’s official comment.