Doors Appointment Image by Esa Riutta from PixabayTradeshift has welcomed back Raphael Bres as its new Chief Product and Technology Officer (CPTO). Bres will now spearhead strategic product innovation and technological transformation across Tradeshift’s portfolio of solutions. Bres will take over the role that Co-founder Gert Sylvest held as interim head of product. It is unclear what Sylvest’s responsibilities will be going forward.

This is the second time Bres has worked at Tradeshift; between February 2020 and August 2021, he held the position of Chief Product Officer. He left to join Spiff as Chief Product Officer, leaving as the company was sold to Salesforce.

Raphael Bres, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Tradeshift (image credit - LinkedIn)
Raphael Bres, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Tradeshift

He now holds more responsibility and should be able to hit the ground running as Tradeshift continues growth across all fronts. As a leader in global e-invoicing, digital procurement & payables automation, marketplaces, and embedded finance, Tradeshift is also leveraging AI across its platform.

There have been several major changes since Bres was last there. In July 2023, the company raised $70 million in a new funding round and launched a joint venture with HSBC to focus on embedded finance solutions. HSBC also participated in the round.

James Stirk, CEO at Tradeshift, “Raphael’s leadership during his previous tenure was transformative, setting a high standard for innovation. His return is a testament to our growth and the exciting direction we are headed.”

A changed Tradeshift

Bres is returning to join a leadership team that has changed substantially from the one during his last tenure. This may have been one of the changes that attracted him back to the company. In February, it appointed Iain Balchin as Chief Financial Officer and Jim Modak as Chief of Strategy & GTM. Jovita O’Byrne has also been promoted to the role of Chief People Officer.

Bres commented, “Tradeshift’s vision has always resonated with me. Rejoining the team feels like a natural progression of the journey we embarked upon together. Our B2B marketplace is transforming procurement, and with the embedded finance standard set by our HSBC partnership, the future looks more promising than ever. I am eager to work with the team to elevate our solutions, making a transformative impact on the way businesses transact globally.

”Immediate enhancements to our capabilities will focus on broadening our reach to a wider range of businesses. We are also perfectly positioned to capitalize on AI developments, driving unparalleled efficiency and value across our customer base.” 

Bres has held leadership positions at several SaaS firms, spending more than four years as the VP responsible for financial management at FinancialForce (now Certinia) where Enterprise Times spoke to him several times. His career started in finance at Deloitte, rather than marketing or development and he is a subject matter expert in matters of finance. He also has experience working at some of the largest SaaS vendors, including Microsoft, Oracle and Workday.

He holds a BSC in economics from Aix-Marseille University and has two master’s degrees from Université Pairs Dauphine in Applied Economics and Management of Information Systems.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

That Bres has returned to Tradeshift is noteworthy; it opens up the question of why he left in the first place. However, he now has greater control with both technology and product teams reporting to him and a better influence not only on the direction but also execution of the Tradeshift products.

Strik is clearly happy to see Bres return, and his experience at Spiff will have given Bres further skills that Tradeshift can take advantage of. Bres also gave a sign of things to come with Tradeshift looking to expand on the number of industries its targets. Currently, it lists Transportation and Logistics, Retail and Manufacturing. Where will Bres take Tradeshift?

At Spiff, Bres will have overseen the development of Spiff Assistant, its generative AI capability. At FinancialForce, he worked with Salesforce on the early iterations of AI within finance. It will be interesting to see what ideas and initiatives he now brings to Tradeshift.


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