Gene Farrell, Smartsheet chief strategy and product officer, leaving to become CEO of fintech startup Vanilla

Gene Farrell, Smartsheet’s chief strategy and product officer, is leaving effective Dec. 10 to become CEO of Vanilla. (Smartsheet Photo)

Gene Farrell, Smartsheet‘s chief strategy and product officer, is leaving to become CEO of a financial technology startup, the Bellevue-based work management technology company said in a regulatory filing this morning.

Farrell is joining Vanilla, a Los Angeles-based estate-planning platform founded in 2019 by entrepreneur and financial advisor Steve Lockshin.

Smartsheet also raised its financial guidance for its third fiscal quarter, ended Oct. 31, citing stronger-than-expected demand for its technology.

Farrell’s arrival at Smartsheet in 2017 made headlines when his prior employer, Amazon, sued to block him from taking the job under terms of his non-compete agreement. Amazon later dropped the suit, saying it reached an agreement to put temporary restrictions on Farrell’s work.

His departure from Smartsheet, effective Dec. 10, is part of a larger executive reshuffling announced by the company Friday morning.

  • Jolene Marshall, deputy general counsel, will become chief legal officer, replacing Paul Porrini.
  • Stephen Branstetter, senior vice president of operations, will become Smartsheet’s first chief operating officer.
  • Praerit Garg, executive vice president of engineering, will shift from CTO to chief product officer.
  • Andrew Bennett, senior vice president of commercial sales and demand generation, will become chief marketing officer.

“With these new appointments, we are well positioned to support our next chapter of success and growth,” Smartsheet CEO Mark Mader said in a press release.

Mader added, “I want to thank Gene and Paul for their contributions to Smartsheet over the past four years as we completed a successful IPO, scaled the business from $100 million to over $500 million in annual recurring revenue, completed four acquisitions, and expanded our global footprint.”

In a statement released by Smartsheet, Farrell expressed gratitude for his time at the company and optimism in the revamped leadership team.

For its third fiscal quarter, the company raised its revenue guidance to a range of $143.5 million to $144.5 million, from a prior range of $138 million to $139 million.

Smartsheet stock rose 3.67% to $70.97 in initial trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.