Jenny Buchholz, former head of corporate finance at WeWork competitor Knotel, and former deputy CFO of Vice Media, is stepping in as CFO of location-based digital video network Captivate, the company announced Tuesday.
In addition to finance and accounting, Buchholz will head human resources and serve as strategic adviser to the CEO, two responsibilities she told CFO Dive "dovetail very well" with finance.
"We are thrilled to welcome Jenny to Captivate, where she will make an immediate impact on our business operations," Captivate CEO Marc Kidd said in a statement. "Her vast financial experience among industry-leading brands is a perfect fit for Captivate as the business continues momentous growth."
In an interview with CFO Dive on Tuesday, Buchholz said Captivate doesn't represent much of a departure from her past jobs. "Knotel was commercial real estate, and I've been in the media industry for a long time covering ad sales," she said. She called Captivate a "perfect blend" of those two spheres and that it has "tremendous growth potential."
"I just feel very fortunate to join at this time," she said.
Regardless of the industry, she said, it's vital that the head of finance be considered a critical decision-making partner.
"When I was a director, my counterparts were other directors in the company, making decisions at their levels," Buchholz said. "As finance, I wanted to support them and give advice on how to push decisions through. And as I became more senior, I wanted to make sure my team had that mentality, too, of working with the business."
Different things matter at various stages of finance executive leadership, but some are consistently true, Buchholz said. For example, the finance role is always metric-focused. "Numbers don't lie," she said. "[Metrics] help us see the business's performance and give us the direction we need to go in the future. Finance is always very metrics-focused, regardless of the industry."
At this point in her career, Buchholz said, the leadership aspect of her role takes up a greater share of her time. Buchholz said she will focus on having a "highly functioning finance team" that is fully integrated into the business.
"[We're] not just making sure people are getting their payroll," she said. "It's equally important to be a true business partner, integrated in critical decision-making in the business going forward."
Buchholz credits her consulting background with showing her the importance of a close partnership between strategy and finance. Buchholz plans to look closely at HR and headcount resources to support financial growth, she said.
Buchholz brings more than 20 years of industry experience to New York-based Captivate. Buchholz headed corporate finance at Knotel, where she oversaw strategy and operational decisions. She also headed up financial planning and analysis, investor relations and capital raising.
Prior to Knotel, Buchholz served as deputy CFO of Vice Media, where she built a team to perform global financial planning, investor relations and sales finance. Additionally, she partnered with corporate development to standardize investment criteria for M&A activities.
Prior to Vice, she served as vice president of finance and ad sales at Discovery Communications, where she managed more than $1 billion in ad sales revenue. Buchholz also worked in executive strategic finance roles for the NBA and at eBay.