Earlier this month we welcomed our first CFO, Mathieu “Mat” Gagné. We are excited to have him on board and wanted to delve a little deeper and help you get to know him.
I sat down with Mat to learn more about his background and what he brings to Wiser.
Angelica: Hi, Mat. Thanks for taking the time to chat. Can you tell me a bit about your background?
Mat: “I started my early career in capital equipment sales and at various times held leadership roles in product development. For the last 15 years I have held senior FP&A positions in financial services companies in Boston and London. Over the last five years, I’ve held CFO roles in early stage and mid-size companies in the software (enterprise and SaaS), professional services, and robotics industries.”
What inspired you to join the Wiser team?
“I’m drawn to technology-enabled companies that are disrupting their industries and the developments in data analytics, particularly in machine learning/AI. Wiser provides SaaS applications that service the B2B and B2C needs of retailers and the crowd advantages of in-store data acquisition. As a result, Wiser has a tremendous opportunity to impact the omnichannel retail space. I wanted to work with a company that is leading and changing technology, and Wiser embodies all of that to me.”
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned thus far in your career that you will put to work at Wiser?
“I firmly believe ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’. Having experienced the advantages of building and analyzing financial and operational KPIs to drive sustainable and profitable growth, we’ll build on Wiser’s commitment to do so, and in the process, build the strongest company we can for our clients, employees, and shareholders. Our services and technology will help our clients measure so they can manage and we aim to embody the same in all we do. Ideally, accounting and finance adds value and drives business by collaborating across an organization and I am excited to bring that approach to Wiser.”
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for retailers and brands currently?
“One of the biggest challenges is understanding the rapid change in retail. Online retailers are trying out brick and mortar and traditional brick and mortar retailers are doing more online. There are few retailers that only play online or in-store and for those that play in both spaces, the universe is becoming more complex every day. Technology and innovation is changing how we shop, retrieve, deliver, and pay for products, while brands and retailers try to increase visibility, sales, and delivery through channels that they’re not used to dealing with. Those who best navigate through the changing tides of online and in-store may decide tomorrow’s winners in retail.”
Where do you see retail going in 2018?
“I think retail is focusing more on the many ways that buyers want to purchase versus the way that retailers want to sell to them. The buyer has even more choices now, with multiple ways to find products, transact a sale, and receive their purchase. There is an ever-increasing awareness and use of new channels that consumers use to purchase. I think brands and retailers will be developing strategies in 2018 to determine the right mix of channels to optimize their sales and profits.”
Are there any fun facts about yourself you’d like to share?
“Well, those who know me well know that I have had some terrific and unique experiences in my life. The most interesting might be that I was struck by lightning in my mid-twenties while on a white water rafting trip in my home state of Maine.
As for a fun fact relating to Wiser, how I started the path to joining the team is worth relaying, My cousin’s husband spars with Hal Charnley, Wiser’s President, at a UFC gym in Boston. My wife had sent out an email out to her entire list of Hotmail contacts letting them know I was looking to join a company that fit some pretty focused criteria and she wanted to see if anyone knew of an opening that might be a good fit. Well, my cousin’s husband got the email and after (I suspect) he got beat up pretty well in the sparring match, he asked Hal if he knew of anyone who needed a CFO. By chance, Hal happened to be on the lookout for one! And the rest is history. You never know when an amazing opportunity will come along.”
About Mathieu Gagné
Mathieu Gagné is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Wiser. Gagné previously served as CFO at Alert Innovation, EBI Consulting, and MyWebGrocer. For more than 15 years, Gagné has held financial leadership positions at early stage companies in software and media, robotics automation, and financial services technology. Gagné holds a BA from Boston College and received both an MBA and an MSF from the Carroll School of Management, Boston College.