This weeks Under the Hood features Chris Johnson, Lotame’s Vice President of Finance. Interested in learning ONE thing about Chris you don’t already know? Read on to learn more!
Tell us about your current position at Lotame. What is your day to day like here?
Currently I am the VP of Finance. My day to day includes everything from pricing deals with our Account Executives, to managing bank and investor relationships, to planning our long term financial strategy.
Where were you prior to Lotame? What was your focus there?
I was at GXS, Inc. a SaaS company that was acquired by OpenText. I helped manage the Professional Services arm of the company. This consisted of headcount management and hiring plans for over 3,000 employees and contractors worldwide. My main focus was expense management and being able to throttle headcount on demand and keep earnings within guidelines reported to the street.
What skills are important for someone working in finance or operations?
You have to have the ability to work across all organizations and listen to what each department needs to drive success from both a finance and operational perspective. Being able to navigate different ideas and strategies as well as understand the challenges both internal and external are key.
Can you describe the environment here at Lotame?
Exciting, nimble, no two days are the same and I love that!
What do you like best about working at Lotame?
The people. You have to enjoy who you work with. We all spend a lot of time working, and at the end of the day if you don’t enjoy the people you work with, it will make for a tough environment to be successful, both personally and professionally.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone new to this industry?
Read everything. This industry is constantly evolving and you need to do your homework. There are a number of good publications and blogs out there. Listen to the industry veterans. 10 years in this market is a lifetime, they have a lot of institutional knowledge.
Where is the coolest/most interesting place you have traveled?
Jakarta, Indonesia. I was working with a business developer for an aerial sensing and mapping company many years ago and did BD trips around the globe in 7 days. Jakarta was incredible from a cultural, architectural, and culinary perspective.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you!
I will tell you two. 1. I am a huge Grateful Dead fan and I used to tour with them in the summers from 1992-1995. 2. I wanted to be a professional skateboarder when I was younger and I still ride skateboards to this day, but now I get to teach my kids.