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My name is Robert Alvarez and I’m the Chief Financial Officer here at BigCommerce. When I started, words could not express how excited I was to join such a talented team – one that I can already attest to sharing in Eddie and Mitch’s relentless passion to build a phenomenal product and an awesome culture that’s focused on recruiting and retaining the very best talent across the globe.
This is now my fifth venture capital backed startup and I consider myself very fortunate to have been part of some amazing teams which have led to some great outcomes, including an $80M IPO and three successful acquisitions (two by mulit-billion dollar companies).
Most recently, I served as CFO of LibreDigital, a leader in digital content distribution of e-books, digital newspapers and magazines, for the iPad, Kindle, Nook, KOBO and Sony Reader. We significantly ramped the business through strategic marketplace deals with Apple, Amazon, Google, and Barnes & Noble which ultimately led to the sale of the company (by RR Donnelley).
Prior to that, I served as CFO of several Austin-based technology startups, where I learned the value that can be generated through innovation and execution as one company was bought by Intel to be their XML chip platform and the other was bought for our great customer relationships and a high growth business after we grew revenue from $5M to $55M in less than three years.
In hindsight, a constant theme these companies shared were:
- A dynamic market opportunity
- Emerging technologies and
- A competitive team driven to execute.
I truly believe that BigCommerce not only meets this criteria, but has a real shot to fulfill its mission to be the clear leader in the e-commerce space by creating software that enables every business to successfully sell online, changing people’s lives along the way.
In terms of my personal beliefs:
- I believe having a passion for something is a key attribute to being successful at anything. For me, I really found a passion in learning about business and being part of a team. I believe a successful CFO is looked upon as a business partner across the entire organization and someone who has strong relationships that can help lead a team through various stages of growth and change.
- For every successful venture, I truly believe it is the result of a great team effort where credit is due to so many members of the team who go above and beyond time and time again. This was never more true than when my team was awarded the “2010 CFO of the Year Award in Central Texas” which was a great team award and recognition for what we were able to accomplish together. In the end, it’s the relationships that we build along the way that will matter the most.
- I am the product of some great mentors and managers who invested a lot of their time and energy in me, and I believe that everyone should try to be humble enough to keep their learning curve steep, be open-minded and try to learn from everyone around them.
- I strongly believe that “actions speak much louder than words”. Whether you’re managing a business or leading a team, people pay much more attention to what you do and how hard you work vs what you say or how you say it.
On a personal note, I’m an avid sports fan, love to play golf and I’m proud to be a Texas Longhorn. I bleed burnt orange through the good years and the bad!
I’ve been dating my wife for 16 years now and we love raising our kids in Austin. It’s safe to say that we’re learning as much from them as they are learning from us. Early on in my career, someone asked me how I would define success when my career was over, and I said “if I have kids that look at me the way I look at my parents, then that would be success”. After now being blessed with a family of our own, I would still define success the exact same way.
I’m really looking forward to the BigCommerce journey. I’m proud to be part of this team and can’t wait to see us listed on the NASDAQ someday soon under the ticker symbol “BIGC”!
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