Corel taps former PayPal, Airbnb exec to be new HR boss

Scott Day
Former PayPal executive Scott Day has joined Corel as its new chief people officer. Photo courtesy Corel

Continuing a C-suite makeover that began more than a year ago, Corel has brought in a former top executive at PayPal and Airbnb to oversee its global HR operations.

The Ottawa-based software firm announced Thursday that Silicon Valley tech veteran Scott Day has joined the company as chief people officer. 

Day comes to Corel from PayPal, where he spent three years as the fintech giant’s VP of human resources, global product development and sales. 

The Virginia Military Institute alumnus, who served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps before entering the corporate world, was previously Airbnb’s head of global talent strategy from 2015-16 and had a two-year stint as VP of human resources at web services provider Yahoo from 2013-15.

In a statement, Corel CEO Christa Quarles said the California-based Day “will play a foundational role in driving organizational change and defining what it means to work at Corel.”

Executive shakeup

Day’s hiring is the latest move in Corel’s ongoing effort to revamp its executive suite since Quarles took over as chief executive in 2020. 

Under Quarles’ watch, the firm best-known for its CorelDRAW graphics software has brought in a new chief revenue officer and chief legal officer among other hires as it seeks to reaffirm itself as one of Ottawa’s tech leaders.

“Having worked with Christa before, I have experienced firsthand her unique ability to transform organizations in virtually every way – whether it’s the products they innovate, their connections with customers or most importantly, the loyalty she builds with her teams,” Day, who was senior VP of people and culture at online restaurant-booking service OpenTable from 2016-18 when Quarles was the firm’s CEO, said in a statement. 

“Christa and I share a passion for creating working environments that promote psychological safety, inclusivity and trust.”  

Acquisition spree

The leadership changes are part of Corel’s bid to jumpstart its growth after seeing its star fade over the past couple of decades. 

U.S. private equity giant KKR, which bought the firm from Vector Capital in 2019 for a reported US$1 billion, hasn’t been afraid to bring in new blood or pull the trigger on acquisitions it believes will broaden Corel’s market reach.

Corel’s products, such as CorelDRAW and WinZip, fall largely into the creativity and business utilities space, but in recent years the firm has looked to expand its portfolio. The company branched into product management with an acquisition in 2016 and hired software veteran Brad Jewett as chief financial officer the following year to lead its M&A strategy.

In late 2017, Corel acquired San Francisco-based ClearSlide, a software-as-a-service firm that develops sales support software. The following year, it acquired graphic design software maker Gravit Designer and Seattle-based Parallels, best-known for its software that allows Mac users to run Windows applications on their devices.

Last spring, Corel acquired popular ad-blocking platform Ad Remover, its first deal under Quarles’ leadership.