Defense tech firm taps ex-Uber as new CFO
- AI Shielda fast-growing defense technology company that builds AI pilots for aircraft, appointed François Chadwick as Chief Financial Officer, with immediate effect, the company said Aug. 22.
- Chadwick has more than 30 years of financial experience, including as an executive at Uber. In this role, he grew the finance team from 20 employees to 1,100 and helped take the company public.
- Based in San Diego Shield AI recently held a Series E funding round in June where they reached a valuation of $2.3 billion. The company is one of four multi-billion dollar defense tech startups launched in the past 20 years.
Overview of the dive:
Shield AI took to social media to announce the nomination. “During our search for a CFO, the team considered numerous public company CFOs, technology CFOs, bankers and finance professionals – each with distinguished backgrounds and a keen interest in join Shield AI,” the company said in a LinkedIn post.
“Francois has stood out for his deep technical expertise, his adherence to our shared values, and his unique experiences, including taking companies public and building great organizations from the ground up,” said the company’s CEO, Ryan Tseng, in a statement. He has had a plethora of experience in the past both from a financial and operational standpoint, Tseng said in an email response to questions.
Prior to joining Shield AI, Chadwick was in the finance headquarters of Volta Charging, an e-vehicle charging company, since May 2021. Prior to that, he played an important role in the growth of Uber, starting as a financial advisor and external tax. in 2011 and rose through the ranks to vice president of finance, tax and accounting until he left the company in 2021, according to his LinkedIn.
At Uber, Chadwick helped the company go public by reaching a market capitalization of $120 billion, Shield AI said in its statement.
Regarding Chadwick’s immediate plans for Shield AI, he will focus on continuing to build a world-class finance function, enabling continued growth and global expansion and ensuring controls and processes are in place. for all on a hyper-growth scale, Tseng said.
Although Shield AI has yet to be made public, Chadwick’s appointment and the expansion of its leadership team could be a nudge in that direction. “(Chadwick) will look to bring (his) skills to Shield as it continues its growth journey and international expansion. This will include building a company ready to go public at the right time,” Tseng said.
In June, the company raised $90 million in equity and $75 million in debt in a Series E funding round led by Snowpoint Ventures.
Co-founded by a former Navy Seal in 2015, the company said it aims to protect military and civilians with AI pilots and intelligent systems.