Today we are excited to announce three new members of Shift’s Board of Directors as we prepare to complete our de-SPAC process and become a public company: Adam Nash, Kellyn Kenny, Victoria McInnis. Adam has been formally on our board since May, when we started the SPAC conversations, and Victoria and Kellyn will be joining concurrently with our public listing.
Over the years, we’ve been thinking about how we wanted the board configured as the company grows. As a soon-to-be-public company, there were several factors we deemed critical in choosing these members, including:
- Technology and product experience: Shift is, at its core, a technology innovator, and we believe it is critical to maintain that DNA on the board as we scale. Adam has paved the way for groundbreaking consumer technology products, serving as CEO of Wealthfront, early Vice President of Product at LinkedIn, and Vice President of Product at Dropbox. Adam has been an angel investor in Shift from the earliest days, and he has been a valuable voice on the board throughout the period that we’ve been working on the SPAC transaction. We are excited to have a strong product and technology voice among our directors as we continue to create amazing products for our customers.
- Brand marketing experience: A key part of Shift’s go-forward strategy is to use a variety of tactics to build our brand, both in our existing markets and new markets as we enter them. Because of this, having a board member with a strong marketing background is valuable. This is why we are so excited about Kellyn, who as the most recent CMO of Hilton has extensive marketing leadership chops, and has over her career worked on building iconic consumer brands such as Capital One (one of the largest automotive lenders and stand out brand in a considered purchase category), Uber, and Microsoft.
- Audit and financial controls experience: As a public company, we will face a new level of requirements as related to our internal controls and audit. To this end, having an audit chair who has intimate experience with managing the audit process and can help us implement the right procedures for Sarbanes-Oxley is critical. Victoria has incredible experience in these areas, as Vice President for Internal Audit and Chief Tax Officer at General Motors. In addition to her audit experience in the automotive industry, she has been part of a SPAC transaction, so has experience with the type of transaction we are doing for Shift. She will be a fantastic addition to our board on a strategic level and as Chair of our Audit Committee.
We still have two board seat searches ongoing that we will aim to fill in the coming quarters. These are build around these key criteria:
- Public company CEO and founder experience: We believe that Shift and our senior management would benefit greatly from a board member who has extensive experience as a CEO and company builder of a public company, who can help us think strategically about our long-term objectives and how to build a lasting company, and be a strong mentor and coach to us as we grow the business.
- Public capital market experience: As a public company, Shift will be an active participant in public capital markets. We see great benefit in bringing on a director who has deep relationships in the financial markets and can help us navigate the many nuances and complexities that come with being a publicly traded company. This could be either an experienced and well respected CFO, an investment banking leader, or a former CEO who navigated capital markets extensively.
In the coming quarters, we expect that certain of our existing pre-public board members will transition out, after many years of dedicated service to Shift, and we will look to replace them with directors who can further round-out the board by bringing a new set of backgrounds and experiences to the table. As we have previously, our goal is ensure that we have a diverse board and we are able to draw on candidates with varying backgrounds.
We also want to express deep gratitude to Emily Melton and Manish Patel, who have served on Shift’s board for nearly six years, to Jason Krikorian, who has been an investor for six years and a board member for two, as well as to our previous board members who have served Shift over time, for all the hard work that they have put in over the years to help Shift succeed. We appreciate Emily, Manish, and Jason’s willingness to stay on the board for the next few quarters helping ensure continuity as we onboard new directors.
We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kellyn, Victoria, and Adam to our team as we continue to build the platform for making car purchase and ownership simple and accessible to everyone. The added strength, diversity and leadership they bring will be invaluable as we become a public company.
George and Toby