We are thrilled to announce Don Jones as the Chief Financial Officer of PartnerHero. A long-time advisor of PartnerHero, Don is joining full-time to weigh in on key strategic decisions as PartnerHero scales both the services and software functions of the business. Don comes with years of experience advising technology and brand-forward companies, working in leadership at PWC, Crowe and most recently, starting his own firm specializing in global tax advisory, MJ Associates LLP.
Tell us about your career - what was your path to becoming the CFO of PartnerHero?
I started my career at Price Waterhouse (now PwC) in Detroit, working with automotive companies and suppliers as an International Tax Advisor. After four years, I transferred to PW’s San Jose, CA office where I began working with clients in the high-tech space in addition to storied San Francisco brands like Levi's and The Gap. I eventually moved to Southern California, largely to work closely with the Walt Disney Company but also to develop a southern California international tax compliance practice for the firm. In 2006 I moved to working at smaller global accounting firms, eventually starting MJ Associates LLP which is still operating. Shortly after I opened my own firm, Shervin walked through our door. That was in the early days of PartnerHero when they set up their first non-US office in Honduras. Over time, it became clear that PartnerHero was growing quickly and needed finance advice beyond tax planning. That’s when we started our conversation.
Given that you had your own firm, why did you decide to take on the CFO role at PartnerHero?
I chose to come to PartnerHero for a number of reasons. Shervin and I developed a good relationship over the past five or six years and there have been times when we supported each other immensely. I knew what kind of a person he is and later, was fortunate to work with Heather when she came aboard. They are so different in how they approach the business which creates a great balance for PartnerHero. Shervin has great vision and Heather is an excellent COO. They really complement each other. Shervin and Heather really care about the people at PartnerHero. Every firm I’ve been with says they have core values, but PartnerHero lives a step above this. Since I joined full-time a few months ago I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people across the leadership team invoke our core values when discussing key business decisions, but I know it was a lot.
What challenges do you see ahead for PartnerHero? Opportunities?
An obvious challenge will be maintaining its culture through its phenomenal growth. This will require precision hiring and talent development to maintain the high level of creativity required to, among other things, build new technologies.
As the company grows we will need to continue implementing and managing new controls across the organization. Balancing these controls while still maintaining an atmosphere of innovation as the company evolves from being a service provider to being more of a technology company is an exciting challenge that finance will play a key role in protecting.
What is your finance philosophy?
It used to be “Cash is King.” While proper cash management is still imperative, the finance function will play an important role in driving PartnerHero’s overall business strategy. In the fast-paced and highly competitive BPO industry, finance will play a role in balancing Operations, Talent Development and Product Development cash needs for PartnerHero to continue being a leader in the industry.
What about PartnerHero is unique and exciting to you?
The people. Period. PartnerHero has a broad array of the best and brightest which is what really sets it apart. The team is very smart but most importantly it is creative. Getting to work with people like Josh, Darnell, Steve, Marcia, Angel - you guys rock! The creativity and the diversity is what really sets PartnerHero apart.
PartnerHero really walks its talk. The people here are phenomenal - environmentalism is important to them, how people are treated is important to them and you see those values going into business decisions. PartnerHero takes a long-term, holistic approach when making key decisions and I can’t tell you enough what a breath of fresh air that is.