When Peter Benevides joined Olo back in 2015, the provider of restaurant technology's CFO office was vacant—as it would remain for the next 4 years, until he ultimately got the position thanks to a nod from the firm's CEO and perhaps a sprinkling of magic dust from Olo board members and investors.
Of course, things may have gone very differently for Benevides, as they so frequently do for many senior finance hires who, like Benevides, join fast-growing firms while knowing full well that there are no guarantees when it comes to C-suite appointments.
Thus, when given the opportunity to have Benevides reflect on his career, we thought it perhaps appropriate on our part to query Olo’s finance leader regarding what he feels that he got right along the way—especially with regard to any attributes or actions that may have made a difference in the career trajectory that for him has led to Olo.
According to Benevides, his success comes down to not having been afraid to ask others for help—a trait that he was to find increasingly beneficial as the company’s 2021 IPO drew ever closer.
It was during these months and years of career investment, Benevides tells us, that he found his attention focused by a number of critical undertakings, including making the transition from supporting a regional accounting firm to being part of a Big Four accounting house.
Besides being able to benefit from the fact that publicly traded firms offer a larger menu of services, the transition put in motion a Big Four “reference check” that afforded Benevides the opportunity to contact clients of the different firms.
Such was the nature of a phone call that he placed to one of the Big Four references.
“What was meant to be a 20-minute reference call turned out to be an hour-and-a-half-long chat,” recalls Benevides, who tells us that the reference happened to be the recently retired CFO of a publicly traded company.
“Once I got off the phone, I said to our president and COO at the time, 'Gee, it would be amazing to have this person as an advisor to the company as we prepare to go through this IPO process,'” reports Benevides, who adds that the former C-suite executive became one of Olo’s invaluable IPO prep advisors. –Jack Sweeney
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