Who we are

Semafor is a global news platform for an increasingly complex world in which consumers are overwhelmed by too many news sources and unsure what to trust. We are building Semafor from the ground up to enable world-class journalists to deliver reporting and insights with rigor in journalistic forms that ensure a new level of transparency. Our editors will distill the most important stories from all over in formats that uncover the forces shaping the stories, explain the interests behind polarizing narratives, and replenish the stock of shared facts. As a global platform, Semafor recognizes that smart people can disagree and that informed readers need to understand alternative points of view from competing centers of power and culture in a multi-polar world. Our ambitions are large, but we’re going to start small. We intend to launch in just two markets globally, learn from our experiences, and grow deliberately. Want to join us? Read on. 

About this role

We are seeking a VP-level finance leader who will focus on continuing to build out our agile finance organization to support rapid growth. Semafor is a “born global” startup with global operations from inception and multiple revenue lines across events, advertising-based sponsorships, and subscription sales. Semafor has the ambition to set the benchmark for cost-efficient, scalable global financial operations. You will lead this effort.

Reporting to the CFO, this critical leadership team role will be responsible for designing and managing Semafor’s global finance operations.  The ideal candidate will possess an international outlook and global experience, an entrepreneurial mindset, a deep passion for innovation and automation in financial operations, and a vision for how it should be done. We will then empower you with the resources and collaborative support to make it happen.

As VP, Finance and Operations, you will:

  • Be capable of and motivated by hands-on action and strategic thinking in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.
  • Oversee, direct, and organize the work of Semafor’s outsourced finance and internal business operations teams
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to excellence
  • Upgrade and implement an appropriate system of policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and procedures.
  • Plan, coordinate, and execute the budget process
  • Provide analytical support to Semafor’s internal management team including development of internal management reporting capabilities.
  • Improve administrative and operational accounting services such as treasury management, spend management/payment processing, payroll, accounts payable, and purchasing.

You will bring:

  • Business or Accounting degree mandatory, an MBA is preferred
  • CPA preferred
  • Minimum 10 years experience in a management role ideally with both external audit and in-house financial management experience gained in a high-growth organization
  • Proven track record of success facilitating progressive organizational change and development within a growing organization
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Strong mentoring, coaching experience to a team with diverse levels of expertise
  • Entrepreneurial team player who can multitask
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers
  • Self reliant, good problem solver, results oriented
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and administration initiatives.
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical as well as strategic thinker
  • An international background, a global outlook, and/or a demonstrated commitment to diversity.
  • Understanding of the news publishing space and a passion for supporting great journalism.
  • Experience working in creative, innovative and distributed international environments.

What you’ll get done:

30 days

In your first month, you will hit the ground running by taking over the existing finance operations for a 25 person company that will be scaling to more than 60 team members by the end of the year. We have the foundations in place–an outsourced finance department running a cloud-based ERP platform (Sage Intaact), an outsourced IT function, and a suite of cloud-based finance and people ops systems. You will be managing our outsourced finance and IT teams and working with key operations resources embedded in our Revenue, Editorial, and Events departments to streamline this infrastructure and take it to the next level by implementing more scalable processes for order to cash, spend management, purchasing, reporting and forecasting to enable rapid growth. You will also provide leadership in the budgeting and FP&A process, including developing forecasts and models to support effective decision making as the company puts in place key partnerships and distribution relationships.

90-180 days

Three-months in you have successfully completed the build out of the company’s financial operations infrastructure and are supporting our distributed teams across offices in New York City, Washington, DC, and London and are planning the launch of Dubai and Singapore. You have been working side-by-side with our Revenue and Product organization to support a growing product and revenue mix across our Events and Advertising Partnership revenue lines. You are planning a Year 2 budget that incorporates financial as well as non-financial KPIs and have designed an internal communications process for aligning and engaging the entire team up to the Board-level in our financial and operational performance.

Additional job details

Comprehensive employee benefits: unlimited PTO, medical, dental, vision, short & long-term disability, flexible spending, health savings accounts, life insurance, 401(k), pre-Tax commuter benefits. (Benefits programs vary by country and are subject to eligibility requirements)

Salary Range: To be discussed with candidates. 

Semafor, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and enthusiastically encourages people from all backgrounds and experiences to apply. Semafor, Inc. will consider all applicants without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other protected characteristic under applicable law

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