Biotech Startup Lyra Therapeutics Brings On First Full-Time CFO Amid Funding Push


The Wall Street Journal | September 10, 2019


The Wall Street Journal article, “Biotech Startup Lyra Therapeutics Brings On First Full-Time CFO Amid Funding Push," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Jenna Fisher on her observations of startup CFO trends. The article is excerpted below.

Lyra Therapeutics Inc., coming off a growth year following an infusion of venture capital, recently hired its first full-time, in-house finance chief—a sign of maturity as the company’s lead medical treatment inches closer to commercialization.

Watertown, Mass.-based Lyra appointed R. Don Elsey as finance chief to help lead the biotechnology company as it goes through rounds of clinical trials for a chronic sinusitis treatment it is developing.

The move to hire a permanent finance chief follows a period during which Lyra employed a string of part-time, contracted finance executives, some outsourced from finance support and CFO services firm Danforth Advisors LLC.

Young, private companies frequently turn to rent-a-CFOs for technical expertise, executive recruiters say. Companies generally outgrow interim and part-time CFOs when revenue exceeds $40 million or, if not yet public, they have a two-year horizon for an initial public offering, said Jenna Fisher, global head of the CFO practice at executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

Hiring a full-time CFO can be a signal of stability and perhaps a sign that a company is ready to take on a new chapter.

To read the full article, click here.