VC-backed Bigcommerce announces new hires

Bigcommerce has named West Stringfellow as chief product officer and Ron Pragides as vice president of engineering. The firm has also opened a new office in San Francisco. An e-commerce platform for SMBs, Bigcommerce is backed by Steve Case’s Revolution Growth, General Catalyst Partners and FLOODGATE.


San Francisco, 19 March 2014 — Just over six months after closing a $40m investment round, led by AOL co-founder Steve Case, Bigcommerce is gearing up to significantly expand its product portfolio and commerce platform, which is currently used by over 50,000 businesses in 137 countries around the world.
Bigcommerce co-founder Mitchell Harper said they had been quietly laying the foundations for an accelerated period of growth, but they were now ready to make a slew of announcements — two marquee hires, the opening of a new San Francisco office and an aggressive move to hire 40 engineers in 60 days.
Harper said: “2013 was a very strong year for us in terms of growth. We grew at over 100% and, most importantly, helped thousands of businesses around the world grow faster. This year we’re ramping up our engineering efforts and expecting to accelerate even faster — we’re hiring a killer leadership team, opening an office in downtown San Francisco and filling it with amazing local talent.
“This is the start of something big and incredibly exciting. We are building a platform for millions of businesses and doing for commerce, what Salesforce did for CRM.”
Chief Product Officer appointed
West Stringfellow joins Bigcommerce as the commerce platform’s new Chief Product Officer. A valley veteran, Stringfellow has played a pivotal role in leading transformation and driving product innovation at some of the biggest tech companies in the world, including PayPal, Amazon, VISA and Rosetta Stone.
“In the short time he has been with us, West has been ruthlessly focused on accelerating our product development and growing the product and engineering teams, starting with the opening of our San Francisco office and appointing our new VP of Engineering,” Harper said.
“He is one of those rare finds that has led acceleration and transformation at technology companies of all sizes, including Amazon and PayPal. He understands what it takes to build and reward the best product and engineering teams in the world.
“I am stoked to be at Bigcommerce,” Stringfellow said. “We have a blend of so many wonderful assets — including our unique product and platform, wonderful people, excellent cultural mojo, and a passion for the customer that is expressed through the team’s genuine enthusiasm to change people’s lives and empower retailers everywhere. It is rare to find all these strengths in one company.”
VP of Engineering appointed
Ron Pragides joins Bigcommerce as the new VP of Engineering. Pragides has held previous roles at Twitter and Salesforce where he helped both companies drive sustainable and scalable growth through IPO. He will be based in San Francisco and leading the development of the San Francisco office.
“After West came on board, we thought about the kind of company we want to become and that made it really easy to find the kind of engineering leader we needed to take the business through the next growth phase. Ron was the clear choice,” Harper said.
Stringfellow said: “Ron understands what’s involved in building scalable platforms and teams that are mission critical for businesses globally. I am extremely excited to have his help in leading the rapid acceleration and growth of our engineering teams in Austin, Sydney and San Francisco.”
San Francisco office
To complement its growing engineering teams in Sydney, Bigcommerce has opened an office in SOMA, San Francisco in MoPub’s former office space.
Engineers hired in San Francisco will collaborate closely with Bigcommerce’s existing engineering teams in Sydney and Austin. They will also be offered the chance to work between offices; traveling back and forth between Sydney and San Francisco for an endless summer.
Aggressive hiring strategy — experts with depth in every area
“Bigcommerce’s potential is only constrained by the technical boundaries of commerce,” Stringfellow said. “To capture this potential we are being extremely aggressive in our hiring — sparing nothing to find and win the team of all-stars intent on solving tough commerce problems.
“Each area, from database to software engineering, front-end to quality engineering, site-reliability and operations, architecture, and product management demands exceptional talent to revolutionize ecommerce and truly empower entrepreneurs worldwide.
“The individuals who join this team will join us on an incredibly rewarding journey, filled with innovation, rapidly scaling and enhancing a killer product and platform, and undeniably helping millions of users start a business through Bigcommerce’s product.
“Bigcommerce will be an enduring company,” Stringfellow said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to get in on the ground floor in San Francisco and be part of something special.
“Engineers love big challenges and hard problems, and I can’t think of anything more technically unique, exciting and fun than scaling our platform to power commerce globally.”

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