Ep. 62: Taking care of your people, company, & customers while navigating through a crisis with Naeem Ishaq, CFO at Checkr

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Joining me on this episode of the Backbone is Naeem Ishaq, CFO at Checkr, the leading technology company in the background check industry.

At Checkr, Naeem leads finance, facilities, and data operations teams, responsible for financial strategy and planning, corporate development, and optimizing Checkr’s financial performance for long-term growth.

Naeem has nearly 20 years of leadership experience at companies like Circle, Salesforce, and Square (which he helped to lead through a successful IPO in 2015). He was one of the first 5% of employees at both Square and Salesforce and has a strong record of repeatedly scaling growth businesses from startup stage to global reach.

I chat with Naeem about:
  1. His career journey working at the intersection of finance and tech since 2002, starting at Intel. From there he joined Salesforce in 2008 when it was a $4B market cap company and 1700 people, spending over four years there before joining Square when they were around 170 people and helping them go through their IPO. Prior to joining as the CFO at Checkr, Naeem led finance at Boxed Wholesale and Circle.
  2. What Checkr does and what the company is all about.
  3. Some of the frameworks and mental models that formed the M&A playbook for organizations like Salesforce and Square. Throughout his career Naeem had the opportunity to work very closely on M&A. While at Salesforce, he played a key role in the acquisition of Jigsaw for $300M and the Buddy Media acquisition for $689M. Then at Square, he led the acquisition of Caviar. Naeem has worked on 40+ different M&A transactions during his career.
  4. His advice to finance leaders who may end up going through an acquisition process with large strategic acquirers.
  5. The best practices for navigating through times of crisis, from the CFO seat.
  6. The biggest misconception about the finance function within growth stage software companies like Checkr.
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