Last week, Tampa Bay, Florida-based data security company FairWarning named industry veteran Philip Devine its new CFO, according to a company press release.
Over his 25-year career, Devine has worked in the healthcare, software, and professional services sectors, and arrives at FairWarning following his time as CFO at HR solutions provider CoAdvantage, CFO of healthcare company MDxHealth, and CFO of several other publicly-listed and private equity-backed companies in Europe and the U.S.
"As an organization that has been successfully providing critical data security services for 15 years in a SaaS model, FairWarning has cemented its presence as an industry leader with a strong financial outlook," Devine said in the release. "Despite the challenging and uncertain times the country is currently facing, FairWarning's outlook for future growth is strong."
Devine finds the CFO role has evolved recently to encompass more operational duties. "But I’ve had that experience throughout most of my career," Devine said to CFO Dive. "Whether it’s helping close sales deals, or looking at strategy, operations are a bigger and bigger CFO duty. The whole strategic part, growing the business outside the financial area, falls to the CFO now."
FairWarning's top-level management team is relatively new, Devine said, citing a rapid hiring period at the beginning of 2019. This has cushioned Devine's joining the company during the pandemic.
Additionally, he said, as a SaaS company, FairWeather has had an incredibly smooth transition to remote work. "Our tools and personnel are so adept at using different tech to stay in touch," he said. "It's been a blessing. There’s been no real difference between in-person and virtual onboarding. Hopefully we’ve managed to make that transition true for our customers, too, so they don’t notice a difference, either."
Devine urges CFOs to over-communicate, even if it means hammering the same message across multiple times, to ensure your team doesn’t miss it.
"Doing that very often and in a structured manner provides the opportunity for your people to absorb and ask questions," he said. "I always try to make sure it’s not just me presenting as CFO. I want all the team members to describe what they’re doing, and I want to leave time at the end for questions. If people don’t ask, prod them, and make sure they feel comfortable."
Devine conducts a daily huddle with his finance team via Zoom, during which he runs through all reporting issues, accounting problems and studies the company’s cash flow. "We're working from home, but we’re literally online and connected to each other 8-12 hours a day, at minimum," he said.
Devine's career accomplishments include leading several IPOs, assisting in the building of multi-million dollar companies from scratch, managing M&A transactions, and working with private equity and institutional investors.
"Under Philip’s leadership, FairWarning is poised for further growth and expansion as we work to help our customers address their critical privacy and security needs," FairWarning CEO Ed Holmes said in the release. "After tremendous success developing high-growth firms with hands-on leadership, he will bring expertise to the company as we maintain our presence as the industry leader and provide our customers with best-in-class data protection services."
"FairWarning's solid reputation for providing quality data protection and service makes me thrilled to join," Devine said. "I look forward to guiding the company toward further success.