Super-stealthy payments startup Clinkle is expanding its executive ranks, and it’s doing so by bringing on a few folks who had previously worked with new COO Barry McCarthy at Netflix. Today it’s announcing that it’s hired former Walmart and Netflix exec Andy Rendich as its VP of operations, as well as Allison Hopkins, formerly of Palo Alto Networks and Netflix, as its VP of talent.
The new hires come as McCarthy, who was hired in October, seeks to make his mark on the new company. Both Rendich and Hopkins had spent significant time with him during Netflix’s early years of expansion from a DVD-by-mail upstart to a streaming video powerhouse.
Rendich is what McCarthy calls a “get shit done guy,” someone who will be instrumental to building and scaling Clinkle’s technology and customer support infrastructure. Rendich joins from Walmart, but he’s probably best known as the CEO of Qwikster under Netflix’s short-lived and ill-advised plan to separate and rebrand its DVD-by-mail service from its fast-growing streaming video business.
Before that, Rendich had worked his way up from his role as a 24 year old junior programmer in 1999 to become a C-level executive overseeing several important pieces of the Netflix business. That included not just operations, but also customer service, which is something Clinkle will need to build ahead of launch next year.
“Every consumer-facing business needs a customer support team,” McCarthy told me by phone. “We need to build it from scratch, build it to scale, and built it to operate at scale…” And that’s something no one at Clinkle really knew how to do before Rendich joined.
Also joining Clinkle is Hopkins, who will be tasked with leading Clinkle’s hiring and organizational development. She most recently worked for Palo Alto Networks, where she spent a year and a half as the SVP of Human Resources. But she too worked for Netflix for about six years, several of which were spent working with McCarthy.
According to McCarthy, Hopkins will be tasked with two main jobs: helping to pick the right people, and helping to teach those who are already with the company how to manage. That’s a role she performed well at Netflix, where she oversaw the organization growing from 250 to 4,000 employees.
That role will be increasingly important as Clinkle tries to transition from a startup founded by a bunch of Stanford undergrads to a legitimate player in the mobile payments space. McCarthy, who joined Netflix when it was just 40 people and the average age was 24, knows how important it is for employees to keep up with demands as a business scales.
So we’ve heard a lot about Netflix and how what McCarthy experienced there can be applied to his new role at Clinkle. But he says he’s not trying to re-create that company at Clinkle. What he’s seeking to do is to bring a lot of the same values from the Netflix culture deck and apply them at his new company. In doing so, and by surrounding himself with a few folks who have been there before, he’s hoping to encourage the same type of high-performance culture that made Netflix so successful.
Will it work? Well, guess we’ll have to just wait and see.
In the meantime, Clinkle has $25 million in funding from investors that include Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Accel Partners, Intel Capital, Intuit, Peter Thiel, Diane Greene, Jim Breyer, Marc Benioff, Owen Van Natta, Andrew Viterbi, Bob Joss, Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Dick Fredericks, Gordon Eubanks, Mehran Sahami, Peter Crisp, Regis McKenna, and Ross Perot, Jr.