Data maintenance and support service company Park Place Technologies has named Andrew Gehrlein CFO, replacing retiring CFO Tony Tricarichi.
Gehrlein is joined by the Cleveland, Ohio-based company's new chief revenue officer Michael Vedda, also newly hired.
As CFO, Gehrlein will oversee Park Place’s financial strategy, including reporting, capital allocation, and treasury, as well as help drive business with private equity investors, Park Place CEO Chris Adams said in an announcement.
Gehrlein said he has a good sense of what makes his new company tick, even though he has yet to meet anyone he works with in person because of stay-at-home mandates stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
"The technology we used worked great, and it definitely enabled me to get a feel for the culture," Gehrlein told CFO Dive.
Gehrlein said he doesn't know when he'll step foot in the company's Cleveland headquarters for the first time, but so far his remote onboarding hasn't slowed his outreach to his teams and colleagues in the executive suite.
"We’re still concerned about all our employees' safety, so we are being cautious and have not yet decided on a date for a full back-to-office approach," he said. "I have had video calls with all the senior management team members, and have begun the process of one-on-one video calls with my global financial team members."
Once stay-at-home mandates lift and employees return to the office, he said, he plans to be flexible with his teams, given how much they've had to adjust during the pandemic.
To get up to speed, Gehrlein participated in video meetings on the company's business processes, product technologies and system capabilities. When he's not in meetings, he's digging through the company's financials.
"There’s never a shortage of financial statements, credit agreements and FP&A reports to read outside of these meetings, so I have plenty of information to review," he said.
When it comes to tracking revenue, he starts in a good position, because the company has good systems in place for that, he said. "We enter into service contracts with our multiple customers, so recognizing contract revenue will be the largest financial difference," he said. "We have excellent systems in place to track this revenue."
Since its launch in 1991, Park Place has grown to 1,300 employees in more than 150 countries, much of that expansion fueled by an aggressive merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy.
"I’m excited to ... guide the company's remarkable organic and acquisition-driven financial growth," he said in a statement.
Gehrlein was brought on board to lead the company's financial strategy and oversee its reporting, capital allocation, and treasury, and also help drive business with new private equity investment, according to the company.
He's worked in finance for 30 years, most recently serving as CFO of Valtris Specialty Chemicals. Previously, he spent more than a decade as CFO for manufacturing corporation ERICO International, and before that, as controller for mechanical engineering giant Chart Industries. Park Place will be his first move into tech.
"Continue focusing on cash and liquidity" is his advice for CFOs trying to lead their organizations through the downturn.
"Manage your expenses very tightly, and prioritize the numerous special projects now competing for internal resources. Be transparent with your employees and external stakeholders on the pandemic’s impact. And finally, listen to the concerns of your team members and be as flexible as best possible," Gehrlein said.