Fast-growing startups are often building the plane while flying it, but the most successful ones are those that are genuinely focused on delivering value to all of their key stakeholders. Too often, we’ve seen founders consumed by the wrong things – ones that might be rewarding in the near-term, but are insignificant and potentially detrimental for long-term sustainable success. This might be a “growth at all costs” mentality, for example. We’ve all seen it and we know how those stories end.
As an entrepreneur and former CEO of three different companies, I know first-hand that one of the most critical factors in building and leading a successful business is having world-class corporate governance.
Corporate governance is the framework that allows a company to thrive by balancing and addressing the vested interests of various stakeholders including shareholders, employees and customers. Additionally, strong corporate governance practices foster a company culture built on high standards of integrity, accountability, transparency, fairness, and responsibility. Having this critical foundational layer in place early on provides the necessary flexibility for management to fully focus on innovation and delivering a better product or service to its customers.
So how can companies ensure that strong corporate governance practices are in place? Most importantly, they should assemble a board with directors who possess robust and varied skill sets and experience that is well matched to the organization’s stage and growth plans. While most boards have a sitting or former CEO, incorporating board members with deep domain expertise should also be a key priority. As a best practice, companies should look for at least one or two members who have experience with related industries and customers. It is also extremely beneficial to bring outside perspectives to the board, often achieved by naming independent directors with no material stake or interest in the company.
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One company that has shown a true commitment to building a strong corporate governance structure is Gopuff, which is one of many reasons as to why I recently joined its board of directors. Their commitment to corporate governance – along with fiscal responsibility – is inextricably linked to their continued success and rapid growth. All this, combined with their mission, leadership, ability to execute against strategic priorities, and proven business model, was what made Gopuff truly stand out to me as a leader in the market with tremendous potential.
Gopuff is a fast-growing business that created and is leading a new category of instant needs. The instant needs category goes beyond delivery or convenience, delighting the customer by combining incredible speed with a wide selection of everyday essentials. As Gopuff shapes the future of instant needs via its unique, vertically integrated operating model, favorable unit economics, hyper-local delivery and affordability, I am proud to be joining their board as the company continues on this exciting journey.
For prospective board directors, it’s important to vet the right businesses and opportunities that compliment your skill set and enable you to support a company’s strategic objectives. I have deep experience in integrating technology to accelerate the business and the customer journey and to reduce costs and increase efficiency in the supply chain.
These experiences will be valuable and part of what I will strive to bring to the Gopuff boardroom as I embark on this new mission with co-founders CEOs Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev. They have a strong commitment to sustainable growth and are seeking to build a critical, foundational layer of corporate governance that will ensure a healthy and vibrant enterprise. Gopuff is a great example of a startup that’s prioritizing corporate governance, which is why I’m proud to have a seat at the table.