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Q&A with Scott Brown, FinancialForce’s new president and CEO

Certinia is excited to announce Scott Brown has joined as our new president and CEO. As Scott begins his first week at the company, we asked him about why he joined Certinia and how he plans to apply his extensive experience at Cisco, Teradata, and other companies to his new leadership role. 

What attracted you to the CEO role at Certinia?

PlayMy roots are in ERP and I’ve dedicated the majority of my career to customer success, revenue growth, and services. Salesforce has been a big part of life in all those roles. This means my experience is aligned to not just Certinia’s product offering but also the company’s trajectory. 

I am particularly excited about the opportunity for growth. In a year when other companies have struggled, Certinia has expanded internationally and launched major product updates that are driving user adoption, productivity, and business agility for customers.

But company culture is also extremely important to me: cultural alignment is among my top criteria for joining a company. As a Certinia customer, I had the opportunity to know the previous CEO Tod Nielsen. I’ve long admired his success in not only leading Certinia to become the top ERP on Salesforce and the #1 PSA in the industry, but to have a strong culture whose values I share.

What did you learn as a Certinia customer that will influence your work at the company?

I learned the power of Certinia firsthand as a customer at Teradata. By connecting the front and back office, Certinia has transformed the way businesses operate, and this has helped organizations succeed and even thrive in the current environment. As Teradata’s Chief Revenue Officer, I led a talented team of 5,000 professionals who delivered $1.8 billion in revenue, and we ran our business on Certinia. Certinia was used across the whole company, and so I witnessed the value a company can derive when the front and back office are truly connected. I believe that more companies should realize the breadth of value we bring and this is one avenue for growth.

How did your past experiences prepare you for this role?

In my 30+ years in technology, I’ve had the opportunity to work with customers in every sector and around the world, with deep ties to every geography Certinia serves. Before Teradata, I was with Cisco for 22 years. There, I had the opportunity to run the gamut of global sales and customer success roles, most recently leading 3,400 sales, engineering, and customer success professionals to deliver over $10 billion in annual bookings. Also at Cisco, I had the job of growing their distribution business. I applied a partner-first mindset and my business grew by over $4 billion in three years. This partner ecosystem now serves tens of thousands of Cisco channel partners and millions of customers. 

Earlier in my career, I spent 10 years running sales for ERP vendors System Software Associates and Effective Management Systems. That experience infused a passion in me for ERP, and so I’m excited to return to those roots.

What will be your priorities at Certinia?

Growth and customer success are my main priorities. And really, customer success is #1, because it’s how you achieve and sustain growth. 

How would you describe your management style?

I bring a high level of transparency, as I believe in speaking the truth. Transparency increases trust and collaboration, and supports better decisions. I also have a bias for stability; I am not about shaking things up and I’m eager to leverage Certinia’s talented teams and leading products to accelerate growth. I practice servant leadership, in which leaders serve their teams and nurture their development and success. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

Family is number one. I also love activities that get me outdoors–mountain biking, motorcycling, hiking, golfing, skiing, etc. And while I have made my home in the San Francisco Bay Area, I cheer for the sports teams from where I grew up in the Midwest: the Green Bay Packers, the University of Wisconsin Badgers, and the Chicago Cubs.

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