New hires bring Wall Street connections, analytics know-how to GoFor's executive suite

New GoFor execs
Ottawa-based last-mile logistics firm GoFor has hired Daphne Huang as chief financial officer and Gary Porter as chief analytics and development officer. Photo courtesy GoFor

Just weeks after bringing a new chief executive on board to lead its scaleup push, Ottawa-based last-mile logistics firm GoFor is adding more bench strength to its C-suite as it stakes out territory in what it calls the “final frontier” of the shipping industry.

GoFor, which topped OBJ’s list of the city’s fastest-growing companies earlier this year, on Tuesday named veteran executive Daphne Huang its chief financial officer. The company also announced it has hired Gary Porter – a Texas-based expert in big-data analytics who spent more than a decade in senior planning and operations roles with environmental services giant Waste Management – as chief analytics and development officer.

The management reboot comes at a critical time for GoFor, which is aggressively grabbing market share in the rapidly growing last-mile delivery space.

Two months ago, founding CEO Brad Rollo stepped down and appointed California-based tech executive Ian Gardner, who’d been working with GoFor for the past 18 months to electrify its fleet of delivery vans, to assume the role.

The 52-year-old Rollo was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer last July and has been undergoing treatment since then. He moved into the role of chief strategy officer, saying he needed to take on a job with less responsibility as he continues his fight against the disease.

In an interview with OBJ in June, Gardner made it clear he believes GoFor – which provides just-in-time delivery services for the likes of home reno giant Home Depot and paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams and also makes software that helps customers fill last-minute orders – has the stuff to become the first name in last-mile logistics. 

Hunt for capital

But reaching that level of market dominance takes capital – a lot of it – and Gardner said one of his top priorities would be bringing in people who could help beef up its financial warchest as it fans out its operations across North America. 

“What the company really needs at this point is a management team that understands how to grow and scale businesses internationally and a big slug of capital to fuel that growth,” he said.

That’s where Huang comes in. 

A graduate of the MBA program at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Huang brings strong connections to Wall Street and the public capital markets after a series of senior roles that included stints as vice-president of GE Capital Markets and senior portfolio manager at HSBC in New York. 

She’s spent the past five years honing her skills as a CFO in the pharmaceutical space, first with New York-based Humanwell Pharmaceutical US and most recently with Taro Pharmaceuticals, a major manufacturer of generic drugs.

Porter, meanwhile, has devoted the better part of the past three decades to helping global companies figure out how to better manage their operations. 

As a vice-president of Waste Management, he pioneered the use of big-data analytics to help the company’s drivers operate its massive fleet of garbage trucks more efficiently – logistics expertise that will surely come in handy in his new role at GoFor.

“I look forward to setting the strategic priorities for data analytics and building GoFor’s business intelligence infrastructure, capabilities and roadmap,” Porter, who holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering as well as an MBA degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a law degree from Harvard, said in a statement.

“As the company embarks on the next phase of growth and becomes a leader in innovative, sustainable logistics solutions for retail and other industries, data insights are more important than ever. I’m excited to join the leadership team and ensure we’re leveraging advanced analytics to uncover opportunities to expand the business, streamline operations and transform last mile logistics.”

In addition, GoFor announced last week that longtime auto executive Stefan Krause had been named chairman of the company’s board of directors after Rollo stepped down to focus on his health. 

Former chairman of Rolls-Royce

Krause, a former CFO of BMW Group and Deutsche Bank, co-founded California-based EV manufacturer Canoo in 2017 and was previously chairman of Rolls-Royce.

He is currently CFO of Levere Holdings Acquisition Corp., a European-based special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC – a shell company with no cash or assets created specifically to raise capital via a public listing.

Gardner said Krause’s knowledge of SPACs – which often target younger companies that don’t have the resources to go public – will be a valuable asset as GoFor eyes a potential public listing of its own as a means of raising funds.

“Stefan’s addition to the GoFor board of directors comes at a transformative moment as we prepare to embark on rapid international growth,” Gardner said in a statement, adding Krause’s “experience in the capital markets and specifically with SPAC transactions, governance and financial oversight will pave the way for GoFor to take advantage of extraordinary market demand for renewable last mile delivery solutions.”

Now operating in more than 85 cities in Canada and the U.S., GoFor has tripled its headcount in the past 12 months to more than 125 full-time employees. The company has raised nearly $30 million in venture capital.