Eliane Pohl

My passion is helping startups improve their leadership and processes to enable employee satisfaction, improved products, and growth.

I have worked in software companies since 2005, specializing in product management at companies making the transition from startup to midsize. This is a key period, when companies need to hone their leadership and processes in order to scale-up. Unfortunately, this transition can be drawn out and painful, often because boards of directors push executives in ways that are counterproductive instead of encouraging implementation of modern software development processes. In order to scale, software companies must transition from having customer-driven feature teams to having strategic, empowered product teams.

Having board members who understand and encourage this change can make growth easier and faster. In addition to expertise in software, I understand the cultural complexities involved in running international companies, and help executives understand the need to define and clearly communicate their company perspective on authority and decision making in order to successfully manage international employees. I strive to improve diversity, and more importantly inclusion, at any company I work with.

As a board member at Saxotech and later Newscycle Solutions (now known as Naviga), I helped the company grow from late startup phase, as well as weathering the global financial crisis to become profitable despite serving a floundering newspaper market. We grew the offices in both Denmark and the United States and eventually agreed to a successful sale to Vista Equity Partners. With the understanding I have gained since, I now regret not pushing the Saxotech executives smarter. I now know that they could have had a much stronger product and seen more rapid growth if we had helped them implement better development processes. I look forward to having the opportunity to help other startups avoid the same mistakes as a more experienced board member.


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