People (HR) – Datadog
Vice President, People, Fino Consulting
Vice President, People, Percolate by Seismic


Cognism is the market leading sales intelligence platform, pairing premium quality contact data with advanced contextual data points, including technographics and buyer intent signaling. Founded in 2015 by James Isilay and Stjepan Buljat, Cognism provides organizations with a suite of B2B sales acceleration tools to empower revenue teams by maximizing conversion opportunities and ultimately exceeding targets. Unlike many other prospecting platforms, Cognism is fully compliant with GDPR and CCPA regulations in addition to other data-privacy laws globally. The platform was constructed with security and compliance as core values. In January 2022, Cognism raised £64 million at series C, backed by Viking Global Investors and Axa Venture Partners amongst other tier-1 funds.

Search Background

At the time of writing, the company has 450 FTEs globally. Both headcount and revenue have consistently grown 100% YoY in recent years. To support the same rate of growth in 2023 and beyond, Cognism has focused on building a best-in-class leadership team across all functions. Indexing on the People function, Cognism partnered with us to recruit a world-class Chief People Officer to lead them through key phases of rapid growth, after an introduction from one of their Board members.


The Chief Human Resources Officer role is a new role for Cognism that has been created specifically at this juncture to navigate the challenges of constructing the most efficient and effective organization during this period of growth. Numerically, the ideal candidate will have seen headcount growth from 400 – 1000+ FTEs. The Chief Human Resources Officer will work closely with the leadership team to define the overall business strategy but also be hands-on in evolving the current function into a commercially advantageous branch of the overall company. Moreover, Cognism plans to continue expansion into new geographies, so having previously established foreign entities is highly advantageous to the success of this role.


To the Chief Human Resources Officer position, we placed Richard Fye who previously led the People function at Datadog. He joined the business as employee c.160 and led growth to c.1400, at which point they triggered one of the most successful IPOs in recent memory. During this journey, Richard was faced with each and every challenge of a hyper-scaling SaaS business and is therefore perfectly prepared to drive Cognism through a similar journey. Throughout the interview process, he was able to present innovative solutions to key challenges that Cognism faces today, but moreover it became increasingly clear there was strong cultural chemistry. With each interview, Richard grew from strength to strength, impressing several core stakeholders at Cognism; he was promptly made and offer and was delighted to accept. We strongly believe that Richard’s addition to the Cognism leadership team will greatly aid their journey as they continue to scale, and we are excited to follow their future successes.

James Isilay


As we take Cognism through the next phase of growth, finding a Chief Human Resources Officer was a critical hire for us to make. Maddy, Marcus & team proved to be great partners for us, and we’re very happy to be welcoming Richard Fye to our team.

Our experts

Maddy Cross, Partner

Specialisms: Engineering, Technology, B2B SaaS

Marcus Trebino, Senior Associate

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