Coworking with Sean Blitchok

He’s the CFO of MeridianLink
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· 3 min read

Coworking is a weekly segment where we talk to CFOs and others in the finance space about their experiences, their companies, and the larger economy. Let us know if you are—or you know—a CFO we should interview.

Sean Blitchok is CFO of financial software company MeridianLink, joining the California-based company in 2022. His experience includes stints at Salesforce, Hewlett-Packard and Honeywell Aerospace.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Describe your job for someone who doesn’t work in finance.

I help position MeridianLink for accelerated financial growth and innovation. I contribute to the executive strategy, providing strategic insights to our executive leadership team. It’s my job to figure out prioritization, sequence, market environment, and demand environment to develop a strategy that’s cohesive with the overall financials of our company.

Tell me something that we wouldn’t be able to tell from your LinkedIn?

I’m passionate about providing people-first leadership to my teams. This job doesn’t work without good relationships with colleagues. I approach every day with a people-first mindset to build positive, mutually beneficial relationships.

What are some changes you have witnessed over the course of your career in expectations of a CFO?

I think it’s probably a dynamic that’s changed dramatically in the last kind of 10-15 years. I can remember—man, you can see the gray in my beard—I can remember the CFO was largely… both gatekeeper and scorekeeper, it was much more, “Take care of accounting, take care of your internal audit function, make sure that we have a good budget, a solid forecast, and then get out of the way so that the business can perform.”…It’s not that anymore. I’m involved in everything from commercial decisions to how we structure pricing. So everything from the very front end of our customer relationship all the way down to the foundation that we’re building.

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How do you strike a balance between these traditional CFO responsibilities and the responsibilities that have emerged over the past decade or so?

I think it’s really about getting the right people in the right positions to have complete ownership and a really deep understanding of those unique areas.

What’s a trend that’s front and center for you, as a CFO, in 2023?  

Digital transformation. It’s something that’s been around for 10 years, but the financial services industry remains at least a decade behind on. We’re leaning into [the fact that] our financial institutions want digital transformation.

If you think about your banking experience maybe 10 years ago, you would go in and talk to a teller and whatever else. the teller about your needs. Those days are gone.  And so for the most part, MeridianLink is well-positioned to be that financial institutions’ interaction with Main Street, because that’s who we sell to.

What would you be if you weren’t a CFO?

While the real answer is that I’d probably be a COO, in another life, I'd be something like a forest ranger. I love being outdoors, surrounded by nature. My son and I frequently go on hikes together, and my whole family enjoys vacationing in Yosemite and Lake Tahoe.

News built for finance pros

The latest news and insights corporate finance professionals need to know to keep up with their constantly evolving industry.