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COO Conversations – Marc Moskowitz at CellPoint Digital

Rob is our US Partner for Zeren’s Commercial GTM Practice, specializing in senior-level strategic hires for high-growth investor-led Tech start-up and scale-up clients.

Rob Samet speaks with his placement, Marc Moskowitz, COO at CellPoint Digital, a leader in Fintech/Payment Orchestration to understand his insights on operational leadership across various sectors within tech.


What are some trends you are seeing in the operations/business alignment/digital transformation?

The focus and trend are on faster execution with high-quality results.  Everyone is looking to do more with less, so streamlined operations and business alignment are critical.  You are starting to see more CoS roles and COO roles posted than ever before to handle this particular area.   They are so critical to making a company run more efficiently and effectively.


On the digital transformation front, most companies are still struggling to get all of their pieces together.  A lot of money is being spent on digital transformation, but progress is slow and often times more difficult than expected.  I just had this conversation at a networking event the other night.  Finally, the key to winning the Digital Transformation battle is understanding that it’s a continuous process and being able to segment or “projectize” the work for quick wins every 90 days.


Coming from Nielsen, then Fiserv in payments, and now Payment Orchestration with CPD, do you see any differences in Project/Program Mgt/Operations in the industries and how you approach your role?

I think most of the difference in how I approach my role really has to do with the size of the company rather than the industry or speciality.  The bigger companies will have a lot more project management maturity and process, whereas the smaller companies will struggle just to get a good status report on paper.  My role as an executive at a smaller company now is to balance the knowledge and resources that our team has, with the need for a bit more structure as we are scaling up.  I’m a big believer in leveraging good project management and operational practices to help drive transparency, structure, and better execution, without overburdening the masses.


What are some key challenges you face daily in Operations/Business Alignment?

It’s really about keeping everyone on the same page and marching to the same mission and vision.  A lot of operations are implementing change and that is hard no matter where you work.  I spend a lot of time on Change Management and ensuring everyone is onboard and rowing in the same direction.  There will always be detractors to any change, so my secret sauce is really about perseverance and data.   If you have data and results on your side, it’s hard for the naysayers to push back forever.   If a few people don’t like what I’m doing, I’m likely doing a good job.


How much is CoS a part of your role?

It’s a good part of my current role and has also been part of my role in my previous stops as well.  As a Business Alignment or Operations Leader you are close to all of the cross-functional action and typically close to the CEO and other executives.  I personally love the challenge of getting to know as many people on the team as possible and helping be the messenger the company needs to win.  You can’t beat the value of a great CoS and I see it as one of the fastest-growing job roles out there, especially for growing/scaling companies.  Even the bigger companies have adopted the CoS role to help various CXOs get more done with less.


What advice do you have for COO/operations leaders?

My advice would be to focus on having the right people on the team and in the right positions and then on execution.  If you have the right people, you’ve already won 80% of the battle.  After that, it’s about execution and communication.   Finally, I’d tell other leaders to not just focus on their ability to execute and communicate but that of their peers and next level down.  That is often where things fall apart a bit.  The more you can help the other leaders, the stronger the company.


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