Senior Director, HR – EMEA & APAC, Nutanix
Director, HR, EMEA, Nutanix
Director, People Analytics, Nutanix


Backbase is a privately funded fintech company that was founded in 2003 in Amsterdam with regional offices across Europe, North America and Asia.

Backbase are the creators of the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform (EBP). Its purpose is to help financial institutions turn the threat of digital into an opportunity and get ahead in today’s competitive digital landscape. From onboarding and origination to everyday banking and servicing, they help financial institutions surpass their customers’ expectations at every touchpoint.

Industry analysts Forrester, Gartner, Omdia and Celent continuously recognize Backbase’s front-runner position. Over 120 financials around the world have embraced the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform embarking on a transformation journey that benefits both customers and employees.

Search Background

Backbase has existed since 2003 but has experienced an explosion of growth over the past five years going from 100 to over 1,500 people, with revenues now into the triple digit millions globally. That headcount is due to double in the next two years bringing a heightened focus to the role of the People leader. The business had never had a Chief People Officer in situ up to this point, with the people function being headed by two HR VP’s.


Our challenge was to find a candidate who could be sensitive to what had gone before them while bringing a fresh approach which elevates the People team to the strategic heart of the business and to help take it to the next level in what is set to be an exceptional few years ahead for Backbase.

We needed to search for a modern thinker and people leader with some close situational relevance to Backbase, who is adept at dealing with the challenges of growth and change internationally, and who could not just be a cultural fit but be culturally additive.


Erevena executed an extensive search across Europe, and in Jarek Polak we unearthed someone who could bring all the above and more. A standout talent, Jarek spent the prior six years at Nutanix, most recently heading HR for over 40 countries across EMEA and APAC during which time the business grew from 1,200 people to 6,000. During the first 12 years of his career Jarek lived and worked in Australia, Japan, India, Singapore and the US and brings with him a truly global outlook and a strong perspective on what it takes to optimize a growing business operating in different cultures across the world.

Arold de Vries

HR Director

Erevena did an outstanding job in finding us Jarek Polak, Backbase’s new Chief People Officer.


Harry, Rebecca and Kevin thoroughly analysed our needs, trod carefully around historical and organisational issues and, whilst challenging our thinking, helped us develop the candidate profile.


Erevena’s network is very impressive and their storytelling about Backbase and the role showed a great understanding of our business and the industry we operate in. Our conversations were frequent, honest and productive. The team showed ownership, kept the pressure on and produced a very strong shortlist.


Backbase is very pleased and proud to have Jarek on board as CPO. Jarek will bring that extra that you rarely see. He will play a pivotal role in the development of the organisation.


Thank you, Rebecca, Harry and Kevin! I would work with you guys again anytime.

Our experts

Kevin Elderfield, Partner

Specialisms: Board & General Management, Commercial, IOT, Private Equity

Harry Tolfree, Partner

Specialisms: CFO, VP Finance, CPO

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