497: Rites of Passage Along the Commercialization Path | Tim Adams, CFO, ObsEva


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Three years ago, Tim Adams probably never imagined that today he would be taking spin classes in Geneva, Switzerland. At the time, the seasoned finance leader could be found queueing up at Logan Airport to board yet another flight to San Francisco.

Of course, one could argue that a certain Logan departure gate ultimately helped to put Geneva spin classes on the horizon, since it played no small role in transporting the CFO to a round of talks that helped to seal the sale of the finance leader’s earlier company Demandware of Woburn, MA, to Salesforce of San Francisco back in 2016.

As Demandware’s CFO, Adams says, he was involved when an unsolicited offer arrived from Salesforce after the e-commerce platform had achieved consecutive years of 30% growth.

“It’s sometimes hard to sell a company when you enjoy what you are doing and there’s a personal aspect, but you have to put that aside to do what is right for the company’s shareholders,” explains Adams, who today is CFO of ObsEva, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Geneva, Switzerland.

“When I joined ObsEva in January 2017, mission number one was a successful IPO to raise the money that we needed to develop our compounds,” explains Adams, who operates from the company’s Boston office. While ObsEva achieved “mission number one” shortly after his arrival, financing stills remains top-of-mind for ObsEva’s finance chief, who–regardless of travel–likes to make exercise a part of his daily routine. Asked if he’s opened a gym membership in Geneva, Adams tells us that his next spin class is one departure gate away.

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