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If CFO Joe Aho’s career DNA were uploaded to Ancestry.com, he would likely discover a family tree populated with no less than five financial planning analysts and 17 senior sales representatives. Needless to say, his career roots are multifunctional, with numerous titles and different tours of duty inside both finance and sales operations. Having joined Compuware nearly 20 years ago, Aho has served as CFO for the last four—his longest occupancy of any one position at Compuware—which says a lot about his past appetite for job migration.
Asked about his priorities as Compuware’s finance leader, Aho leaves little doubt that acquisitions are top-of-mind for this mainframe technology company, which appears eager to open a new chapter of growth that opens new doors while discovering fruitful synergies with its past.
CFOTL: What will the next chapter be for your team and finance?
Aho: When we went through the process of being acquired four years ago, we ended up being bought by a private company. But that process … I mean, you obviously have no idea how that’s going to play out. Well, I was the liaison between our company and all the third parties involved. So you get a very quick introduction into investment banking, due diligence, data rooms, management presentations. You find out that you thought you knew everything about your company until you go through one of those. You learn everything really quickly. We’ve done an amazing turnaround in going from decline to stabilization to two years in a row of growth. Obviously, we’ve got to keep that going. We’ve put a great infrastructure in place. And what I mean by that is that we have a great G&A infrastructure that could take on more.
We could buy more tuck-in acquisitions. We could buy more companies and gain a lot of synergies. I mean, we could take stuff in and we’re ready to go. That’s what I want to do. I now want to get more growth through acquisitions. That’s what we want to do. That’s what we’re focused on. And we’ve got the green light from Thoma Bravo to do it. They’re just fantastic. They’re awesome owners. We’re very happy with them, and that’s kind of our focus moving forward. jb