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With New President Sarah Miller Wright, Certn Targets Profitable Growth Over Acquisitions

With New President Sarah Miller Wright, Certn Targets Profitable Growth Over Acquisitions

Leadership Entrepreneurship

Following 2023 layoffs, Miller Wright must steer Certn’s global operations through a “transformation year.”

Victoria, BC-based background check technology provider Certn has brought on Sarah Miller Wright as its first president to lead global operations.

Miller Wright, who assumed the role earlier this month, brings over 20 years of executive leadership experience to Certn. She comes to the scaling tech firm from one of its investors, Inovia Capital, where she most recently worked as entrepreneur-in-residence after serving in senior roles at insurance giant Manulife and telecommunications firm Shaw Communications. 

In an exclusive interview with BetaKit, Miller Wright acknowledged that her resume looks a bit different than that of the average tech exec. “The thing that makes me really excited about this role, at this stage where I’m at in my career, is being able to leverage being in at-scale organizations and really having a good understanding of … what great can be,” she said.

Miller Wright joins Certn as the company has set its sights on profitable growth following two rounds of previously unreported layoffs in 2023 that saw the company shed 12 percent of its workforce amid challenging market conditions. 

Going forward, Miller Wright said Certn’s strategy involves fewer acquisitions and more organic, product-led growth. The latter includes integrating the companies Certn has previously purchased into a single platform and expanding into other areas of digital trust—which Miller Wright’s addition frees up Certn co-founder and CEO Andrew McLeod to dedicate more of his efforts towards.

Founded in 2016 by McLeod, C3O Evan Dalton, and C3O Owen Madrick, Certn has developed a software platform to facilitate the pre-employment background screening process, enabling businesses to hire more quickly while also managing risk. The company has amassed a list of customers that includes Tesla, Interac, Bell, Deloitte, WestJet, and Saks Fifth Avenue, catering to a list of industries ranging from property management to healthcare, manufacturing, the gig economy, and financial services.

RELATED: Certn acquires European ID verification company Trustmatic

McLeod called hiring Miller Wright “a strategic leap forward” for the BC tech firm. McLeod told BetaKit that Miller Wright’s “experience, insight, and leadership qualities are exactly what Certn needs as we navigate through our next phase of growth.”

“By that, I don’t just mean revenue growth but the growth from what I like to call the ‘adolescent phase’ into a profitable tech powerhouse,” he said.

McLeod met Miller Wright shortly after she joined Inovia and said he pitched her on joining Certn within the hour. While Certn was not looking for a president at the time, the match was strong enough that the two parties crafted a role to suit Miller Wright’s capabilities and the company’s needs.

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