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Podium taps Shopify exec for new COO role

Communication and payments platform Podium has hired a veteran executive to serve as its initial COO.

Podium has named an e-commerce technology veteran to serve as its first-ever COO.

The communication and payments platform for local businesses has hired Loren Padelford in the newly-created role of COO. Padelford will oversee all aspects of the go-to-market strategy and operations across Podium’s business. In this position, he will also be responsible for building out and scaling the marketing, sales, business development, customer success and international efforts for Podium.

Padelford comes to Podium having served most recently as the VP and general manager of revenue at Shopify. Prior to assuming this role, he helped create and lead Shopify Plus, a commerce solution for businesses including Allbirds, Gymshark, Fashion Nova, Staples Canada, and Heinz to Home. Prior to joining Shopify, Padelford held senior leadership positions across sales and marketing at software firms in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. 

“Local businesses are the backbone of the global economy and their impact at the local level is felt even more deeply as direct sources of job and wealth creation, as well as community investment and growth. It has never been more clear to us that when local businesses thrive, we all thrive,” said Eric Rea, co-founder and CEO of Podium. “It’s why I’m so thrilled to have someone with Loren’s incredible background and leadership joining Podium in this next phase of our growth. He has built a track record of building and scaling successful teams and businesses while never losing sight of creating value for the customers we get to serve every day.”

“I’m very excited to join Podium and get to work with this amazing team helping local businesses win,” said Loren Padelford, COO at Podium.Economies are built on healthy local business communities, and Podium is helping those businesses create world-class customer experiences every day. Podium has a huge opportunity to have an impact at a global scale, and that is rare.”

Padelford’s hire comes on the heels of several key hires that have been made across the organization as it stages for further growth and expansion, including Steve Holm, VP of product design; Jess Weimer, senior VP of revenue marketing; Sam Johnson, executive creative director; Sam Isaacs, VP of velocity sales; Jessica Hannes, VP of support; and Julie Inouye, senior VP of communication.

In addition, earlier in 2021, Podium named John Foreman, former chief product officer at Mailchimp, as chief product officer; Tim Milliron, VP of development at TripActions, as executive VP of engineering; Hally Pinaud, former head of product marketing at Gainsight, as head of product marketing; and Tasha Bishop, former VP of customer success at Smartsheet, as executive VP of customer success.

[Read more: Podium names new product, engineering execs]

Podium serves more than 100,000 local businesses in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

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