Clio, executing ‘audacious’ growth plan, adds quartet to C-suite through mix of new and old faces
Clio’s massive 2021 continues with the hiring of leaders to oversee operations, people, technology and marketing.
Over the summer, Jack Newton, the co-founder and CEO of legaltech unicorn Clio, hinted at an audacious growth plan. “We're still charging aggressively at the goal of hiring 250 people over the course of 2021. So, growing the team aggressively, certainly hiring almost every role,” he said at the time. This sentiment rings especially true today, as Clio has doubled its C-suite, adding a new chief operating officer, chief people officer, chief technology officer and chief marketing officer.
Ronnie Gurion, Chief Operating Officer
Backgrounder: Gurion’s 20 years of experience leading large-scale go-to-market teams that encompass sales, account management, sales ops and marketing will play a pivotal role, Clio says, in forming the new connective tissue between market development, product evolution, sales operations and customer retention.
Quotable: “I am thrilled to join Clio at this stage of growth. Every interaction I’ve had with this team has been nothing but positive and inspiring, and I’m excited by the fact that Clio is positioned for a high degree of meaningful impact on a global scale. There’s still so much to do, and I’m excited to continue driving greater outcomes for Clio’s customers,” Gurion said.
Departing: Gurion will take on the role of COO from George Psiharis, who also previously held the role of VP of Business Operations. Having been with the company for 11 years, Psiharis will remain a prominent shareholder of Clio.
“The last 11 years have been the experience of a lifetime,” Psiharis said. “I’m so grateful to Clio founders Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau, along with the Clio Team and the legal profession as a whole. Clio is still in the early innings of fulfilling its mission and full potential and I am deeply excited for what lies ahead for this team. I have no doubt that I’m leaving the company in the hands of a world-class leadership team as it embarks on this next stage of the journey.”
Sarah Bettencourt, Chief People Officer
Backgrounder: Bettencourt brings over 20 years of experience leading the integration of teams through mergers and acquisitions, scaling teams to the thousands at $400M revenue companies and guiding organizations through similar stages of growth. She has been honored with numerous awards including Female Business Leader of the Year and Female Executive of the Year for her work in developing the standards for business and cultural environments in the tech industry.
Quotable: “I felt a deep connection to Clio’s goals of breaking down barriers to legal services. The transformational work being done here is truly making a difference to society. I am incredibly passionate about creating cultures focused on enabling employees to do their best work, and when you layer this mission on top of the impact Clio is having, the opportunities are endless,” Bettencourt said.
Departing: Bettencourt will have big shoes to fill as Clio’s last CPO was Rian Gauvreau, the company’s co-founder. Gauvreau stepped away from the role in April but remains on the board.
Jonathan Watson, Chief Technology Officer
C-suite callup: Since joining the company in 2017 as the VP of Engineering, Watson’s approach saw a tenfold increase in the cadence in which Clio releases product updates. Watson’s biggest contribution, however, is his teambuilding prowess. Since joining the company, he has grown the engineering department to over 200 individuals. Watson doubled the representation of women while also maintaining that level of diversity, culminating in a nomination for GameChanger: Diversity and Inclusion for the 2021 Technology Impact Awards.
Quotable: “It’s an exciting time to envision what’s possible for lawyers, their firms, and their clients. The impact we get to have on the delivery of legal services is an everyday inspiration, and I can’t wait to enroll more innovative leaders in our vision,” Watson said.
Reagan Attle, Chief Marketing Officer
C-suite callup: Over her tenure as Clio’s VP of Marketing, Attle has played a tremendous role in Clio’s success in the last five years, which has seen her grow the marketing team to 70 staff with industry highs in retention and engagement. She led the announcements of and go-to-market strategies for Clio’s Series D and E funding rounds, acquisitions of Lexicata, CalendarRules, and Lawyaw, the launch of Clio Payments and Clio’s new mission and brand.
Quotable: “I continue to be inspired by the passion and culture of this organization, and I believe we still have a lot of work to do in winning over legal professionals who have yet to adopt Clio into their firms. We truly have an opportunity to reshape how lawyers manage and grow their firms,” Attle said.
Clio continues to cruise
Clio touted these new hires or promotions as an example of the company‘s hybrid work plan, Distributed by Design.
“Distributed by Design is all about enabling our teams to work in a geographically dispersed way,” Newton told me last summer. “It's our specific take on what the future of work looks like. We are a remote-first company. Even if you're in the office, you'll be joining many meetings through a Zoom call. We also really strongly believe in the importance of human connection. There's something magical and special that happens when human beings get in a room together. We've thought about how do we mix the best of remote-first with the best of in-person collaboration,”
“Individual team members choose how they want to work. For some employees, that might be entirely remote. For some employees, that might be choosing to work out of one of our hub locations, which is how we've renamed our offices. We think that some people might choose to work out of a hub location on a part-time or even a full-time basis. We realize that not everyone has an ideal work-from-home setup. But then, independent of how people choose to work on a day-to-day basis, we imagined teams coming together on some regular cadence to gather and to collaborate,” he continued.
While the hires reflect a new approach—Distributed by Design—the news also exemplifies an age-old goal for Newton and co.
“This expanded leadership team is aligned in a vision to build Clio into an enduring, 100-year company that values market and employee success, and we can’t wait to show more of what we have planned for our next stage of growth," Newton said of the revamped c-suite.
For a roundup of the people going places in BC tech, subscribe to our Sunday Briefing: