Open Opportunity

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Sense360

Culver City, CA

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Insights Surrounding this Role

Sense360 is disrupting the massive ($75B), slow-moving Market Research industry initially attacking a $15B TAM. They are already selling six-figure deals high (CMO level) into major corporations and getting them to understand there is a new, more accurate and cost-effective alternative to conducting traditional static market research which only delivered data and trends from the rear-view mirror.

Sense360 has proven its solution and become the market leader in QSR while gaining early traction in Casual Dining and Convenience retail. It is growing rapidly and needs to scale its engineering and data science technology organization to extend the robust technology stack, product development and data insights capabilities in support of accelerated growth.

The CTO will be a key member of the leadership team and bring a track record of growing, mentoring and scaling teams, platforms and companies. The best news is that nothing is broken! There are no big pending issues in engineering—in fact, it is operating like a well-oiled machine. The selected CTO will have the time required to get in and get spun up before making any future-facing technology decisions or organizational changes.

Sense360 seeks a true leader who has been successful in building high performance technology teams and cultures that foster a great working environment and became a magnet for top tech talent. Though s/he will have deep technology roots and experience, we are not looking for a coder or even an architect, but rather a leader who brings the playbook for building and scaling Engineering and Data Science teams and scalable, high performance platforms. The selected individual will not only be a great manager of tech teams, but also bring the business maturity to manage up to CEO and Board, and the presence to liase with key customers and hundreds of data partner companies and communicate with external constituencies including investors, analysts, customers and partners.

The CTO will own the engineering and data science functions and needs to have a deep understanding of the key challenges, opportunities, and products being built by each. They will understand the systems, trade-offs, and architecture, and how it impacts the business. They will ensure that each is operating at a very high level, building the right things in the right way, and making the right decisions, and hitting their KPIs. Though the CTO will not be coding, s/he will need to understand the underlying technologies and be strong enough to review code and participate in solving problems.

The CTO will work closely with the CEO and be the voice of technology, clearly identifying the opportunities and trade-offs across major decisions (investments, hiring, licensing, and org changes) and working together to ensure a highly aligned, well organized, and properly funded technology organization.

The CTO will manage and coach Co-Founder, Kamil Mroczek to help him continue to grow and reach his full potential. Kamil is a student of engineering and technology executive who is passionate about learning and growing. He is a strong technologist and has built a scalable foundation at Sense360, but is looking forward to partnering with a CTO who has scaled organizations and managed multiple teams.

The CTO’s EDS Organization

Total headcount at Sense360 is 30 with more than half of the employees on the Engineering and Data Science (EDS) team. The team is smart, passionate, and eager, but also young and generally learning to achieve scale for the first time. The CTO will need to bring experience and knowhow and help coach and mentor the team through growth and scale.

Sense 360 has budgeted for the EDS team to grow by an additional five heads by year end. With the imminent close of the company’s Series B financing in Q4/Q1, a significant portion of the proceeds are earmarked to grow the EDS team. EDS team size is projected to double in next 12 months.

The CTO’s Principal Charter

  • Own the engineering/product development, data science and analytics (EDS) teams and all efforts needed to define, enhance and scale and the platform that Sense360 is pioneering.
  • All about scale! Grow the EDS team from 15 to 100+ over the coming years. Drive the organizational design, vision, strategy from the playbook the CTO brings into Sense360
  • Holistic Data Transformation: Build the infrastructure, processes and tools to ingest, cleanse, score, and bring together multiple datasets into an accurate representation of the real-world. Currently, Sense360 ingests three datasets.
  • Build the data science capabilities to constantly enhance the accuracy of Sense360’s datasets while building the infrastructure to enable fast insights from the data (internal tools for our analytics team, self-serve dashboards, automated reports)
  • Work shoulder to shoulder with Sales & Marketing to accelerate growth in a coordinated fashion, providing sales enablement support and materials.
  • Partner with Product & Client Solutions to bring new offerings to market quickly and effectively, and with the rest of the organization to continuously drive the business.

Key Success Metrics

  • Increase the impact of EDS organization by aligning all efforts to concrete business goals
  • Increase the cadence of releases and projects in Engineering and Data Science (EDS) functions, with a strong bias for simplification, urgency, and consistent value
  • Grow the EDS teams to support continued and accelerated growth and business plan initiatives
  • Establish clear lines of communication between EDS and other company functions

Core Competencies & Keys to Success

  • Must have led teams of more than 35 at a MINIMUM. Proven ability to build, manage and scale EDS teams from ~10 to >100. Built high performance and highly accountable technology organizations.
  • Experience managing AI, machine learning and data heavy tech stacks.
  • Similar stage company experience having ideally been part of Start-up, rapid growth and scale
  • Ideally come up through a career path which includes deep technology roots and hands-on experience in either Engineering or Data Science. Sense360’s tech stack comprises Ruby, Python, Spark, and AWS.
  • Been close to the customer and the market; able to articulate customer pain point and voice so a product management background/sensibility is a big plus. Able to work effectively with external constituencies including customers like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, 7-Eleven, Arby’s and Sonics
  • Domain/Sector: Experience and success in Tech heavy businesses, hopefully with a big data angle (fin-tech, ad-tech, etc.)
  • Academically, should be degreed from a top engineering school
  • Exceptionally strong business judgment and communication

Important Personal/Cultural Characteristics

  • Great team builder and leader able to coach, mentor and develop talent while getting the most out of the people you work with.
  • Student of business, passionate, interested, and versed in the drivers of business
  • Low ego, Sense360 team operates as a flat organization with a high degree of collaboration
  • Great Communicator: Polished presence, self-confidence; able to gain buy-in and create productive dynamics within a team and interface with top-of-their-game, household name customers
  • Flexible and resourceful, with a figure-it-out-and-get-it-done mentality; not afraid to make mistakes quickly and course-correct.
  • Passionate: Proven high-level strategic, creative-thinking, and problem-solving abilities. More than just a tactical manager; brings vision to help shape overall company direction.
  • Smart & Insightful: High intellectual bandwidth, but also street smarts and the gut to make the tough calls that don’t always flow from the data.