Fountain Recruits Sean Behr As New CEO

Author Martin Oliva Date Sep 14 2020

I have some exciting news to share. After several months of running a diligent search process, I’m thrilled to announce that Sean Behr will be joining Fountain as our new CEO!

When I first started Fountain six years ago with Jeremy, our goal was to enable new forms of work. We believed that the future of work would no longer be defined by 9-to-5 cookie-cutter careers and that there’d be a lot more fluidity and choice in how one decides to make a living. We imagined a world where people could work anywhere, any time with more freedom and choice.

Despite these grand ambitions, our beginnings were modest. I was 22 years old and Jeremy was only 19 when we started. We both moved out to San Francisco with little cash and no professional network. And ironically, for two people working on a company looking to disrupt work, neither of us had held a real job before. But what we lacked in corporate experience and business savvy, we made up for through hustle and willpower. We spent weeks bunkered in customers’ offices, shadowing customers as they went about their day to understand their needs, and built our solution from the ground up.

Six years in, I’m proud to say we’ve accomplished quite a bit. Today, Fountain helps facilitate millions of new job seekers and hundreds of thousands of hires every month across 50+ countries and in 20+ languages around the world. And many of the world’s largest and most operationally complex companies — such as Uber, Safeway, and Grubhub — have come to rely on us to power their massive talent acquisition.

Our impact became even clearer just a few months ago at the height of the pandemic, amidst the largest unemployment numbers we’ve seen in decades, when in April alone, Fountain helped more than 350,000 new people find work.

It’s clear to me that the company has entered a new phase. Today, we’re no longer two kids in a garage, but a cohesive unit nearing 75 employees, $36m+ funding, and the continued vote of confidence from world-changing companies as partners. For the first time, it doesn’t feel like we’re constantly paddling to keep our head above water. We are instead setting sail with bigger responsibilities, bigger ambitions, bigger teams, and bigger clients. The next phase of Fountain’s success will be defined by thoughtful strategy, strong GTM execution, organizational alignment, and a new leader.

As we ran our CEO search, I was humbled by the quality of candidates and the level of interest this position garnered, ranging from C-level execs at public companies to household startups, to leaders I’ve admired over the years.

Throughout this process, one potential candidate emerged that I couldn’t have been more excited about: our very own Sean Behr.

From the first time I met Sean six years ago, Sean has impressed me with his thoughtfulness and strategic mindset. As the former founder & CEO of ZIRX, an on-demand valet service with complex workforce operations, Sean saw our potential early on and hopped on board as a referenceable customer.

And when we started to think about raising our seed round, he quickly wrote us a check as one of our earliest investors. We would often catch up, and what were supposed to be 30-minute coffee chats would turn into four-hour whiteboarding sessions. He’s become my first phone call anytime I’ve had amazing news to share, or really tough challenges to overcome. Sean brings a breadth of startup experience with 20 years of operating experience under his belt, ranging from labor marketplaces to SaaS to ad tech, and I’m eager to see Sean take Fountain to the next level.

Alongside Sean, we’ve also recruited a team of fantastic leaders this year, across customer success, sales, marketing, and engineering. I’m blown away by the sheer talent we now have across the organization. As for me, I look forward to focusing my energy on strategic bets within the company and continuing to serve as an active board member.

Under Sean’s leadership, we will continue our mission of opening new opportunities for the global workforce. We have a team that is highly motivated in getting the world back on its feet, an ambitious product roadmap, plenty of runway, and a market that is wide open for innovation. Fountain’s best days are yet to come.



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About the Author

Chief People Officer

Martin Oliva

Martin Oliva leads the People function at Fountain. His experience ranges from startups to Fortune 500 companies, where he has been instrumental in searching for creative ways to develop teams and effective strategies that allow the business to thrive.