Two prominent executives are leaving tax automation startup Avalara next year, while a familiar face will return to lead the engineering team in the interim.
GeekWire obtained a memo to employees announcing the departure of Peter Horadan, executive vice president of engineering and chief technology officer, and Matt Tormollen, executive vice president of research and development. In the memo, CEO Scott McFarlane wrote that it has decided to centralize development and engineering under one leader, and as a result, Horadan and Tormollen will be leaving the company.
Kevin Riegelsberger has returned to Avalara as interim head of engineering and development. Riegelsberger spent six years at Avalara, where he served as president, head of operations and head of the strategic initiatives group for six years before retiring last year. He will lead the search for a permanent engineering leader.
“Despite his official retirement, Kevin has remained involved in the company, serving as a consultant on multiple activities,” McFarlane wrote. “His understanding of Avalara, our industry, and the inner workings of our technical teams will be invaluable in leading us through this change. In addition to leading the team, Kevin will help lead the search process for an Engineering executive with experience managing technical teams that drive product innovation, integration, and reliability.”
Avalara representatives confirmed the memo but declined to comment further, and attempts to reach Horadan and Tormollen were unsuccessful.
Horadan will leave the company Jan. 31, while Tormollen will stay on through the first quarter of next year to help with the transition process, according to the memo.
Horadan has been with Avalara since 2013. He has spent time at some of the region’s top tech companies, including a role as senior director of research and development at expense management company Concur and eight years at Microsoft.
Tormollen has been with Avalara for close to four years and is based out of the Durham, N.C., office. He has more than 30 years of executive-level experience at several startups focused mostly on the energy industry.
Avalara is one of the region’s top startups, ranked number two in the GeekWire 200, and is a frequently mentioned IPO candidate. Last year, the tax automation startup landed a $96 million funding round for growth and acquisitions and to buy back shares from earlier investors.
Avalara employs more than 1,400 people worldwide. It has been steadily adding to its leadership team, bringing in five new executives this year alone. Avalara automates the process of sales tax collection for retailers across different jurisdictions. Avalara tracks tax rates in more than 12,000 jurisdictions and supports more than 100 countries.
Next year, the company will move into a new headquarters, near CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The building, where Avalara leased 100,000 square feet last year with an option for more, will have the company’s logo displayed and be called “Avalara Hawk Tower.”
Here is the full letter from Avalara CEO Scott MacFarlane to employees:
Today we are announcing a significant change in our organization that includes two leadership departures. Avalara is working to build the world’s best SaaS platform, and we have made a great deal of progress in 2017. However, as we look forward to driving even more improvement and efficiency in 2018 and beyond, it is critical that we have the right organization in place. With that in mind, we have decided to return to a unified development and engineering structure reporting up to a single leader. As a result, both Peter Horadan, EVP Engineering and CTO, and Matt Tormollen EVP, Research and Development, will be leaving the company. Peter will be leaving as of January 31 and Matt will stay on through Q1 of 2018 to assist with transition activities. We appreciate the contributions that Matt and Peter have made during their time at Avalara to the business and to furthering our engineering efforts. We will begin an immediate search for a new executive to lead all of our engineering, development, and content teams.
Effective immediately, Kevin Riegelsberger is returning to Avalara as interim head of Engineering and Development. As most of you know, Kevin has a long history with Avalara, having served as President, head of operations, and head of our strategic initiatives group for more than six years until his retirement in 2016. During much of that time, Kevin had responsibility for the Engineering and Development organizations. Despite his official retirement, Kevin has remained involved in the company, serving as a consultant on multiple activities. His understanding of Avalara, our industry, and the inner workings of our technical teams will be invaluable in leading us through this change. In addition to leading the team, Kevin will help lead the search process for an Engineering executive with experience managing technical teams that drive product innovation, integration, and reliability. We look forward to having Kevin back with us for the next few months.
Please join me in thanking both Matt and Peter for their service to Avalara. We wish them well in the future.
Editor’s Note: The spelling of Scott McFarlane’s name has been corrected since publication.