Meet Our New CTO: Introducing Dave Gardner

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Alfi is thrilled to welcome David Gardner on board as its new Chief Technical Officer.

Gardner brings over 25 years of software development, organization transformation, and system architecture experience to the table, in addition to more than eight years of customer-facing engineering.

Explore our exclusive Q&A session below with new CTO Gardner.

With his savvy and insight, Gardner will shape the future of Alfi, as it gets ready for a new and exciting phase.

Peter Bordes, interim Chief Executive Officer expressed his enthusiasm over the recent changes to its senior leadership team, “As Alfi continues to commercialize its technology platform, the board is determined to assemble a senior leadership capable of taking the company to the next level of technological and operational excellence…I am equally excited to welcome David Gardner and Jim Lee to the team, each of whom comes to Alfi with a unique set of skills and experiences. As our CTO, we look forward to capitalizing on David’s technology acumen.”

Gardner has a long history of delivering innovative solutions to complex problems. He remains particularly interested in the area of Enterprise and Application Architecture that involves integrating complex distributed systems. In recent years, his research has focused on machine-learning-based, personalized customer journeys that maximize customer loyalty and drive new adoption.

“I am confident that we are assembling an unbeatable team that will ensure the long-term, mutual success of our company, customers, and investors,” Bordes continued.

A leader of leaders, Gardner understands how to build high-performing engineering teams that incorporate DevOps as a business enabler. Dave holds three granted patents in the competitive areas of internet-scale search and high-performance commerce experiences.

Gardner has served as the Company’s Vice President of Technology since October 4, 2021.

Prior to serving within this role, his background has yielded tremendous experience in the technology arena.

From April 2019 through September 2021, Gardner served as a director-level Architect and Software Engineer at Lenovo Group Limited, a multinational technology company that specializes in designing, manufacturing, and marketing consumer electronics, personal computers, software, business solutions, and related services.

There, he worked in Lenovo’s Digital Transformation Office, leading efforts to design, deploy and modernize global sales and marketing architecture and processes. He provided architecture oversight with the Enterprise Architecture Team and data system architecture, modeling, and governance process support.

From May 2015 to April 2019, Gardner served as a Senior Director, Client Partner and Global Architect at Sogeti, the Technology and Engineering Services Division of Capgemini.

At Sogeti, his role entailed overseeing the activities of the digital transformation and software development and cloud practices, handling both technical and business client relationships, and building and growing various accounts.

From November 2010 to April 2015, Gardner served as a Distinguished Engineer with Dell Technologies. He was instrumental in the formation and architecting of the Dell Commerce Platform enabled for multiple buyers, sellers, and developers.

Getting to know the new CTO

We sat down with the new CTO to understand a little more about his background and what kind of future he envisions for Alfi.

What advice would you give to yourself when you first started your career?

Be more patient. Early in my career, I was surrounded by lots of great engineers. But my impatience and desire to keep moving limited me from learning some critical early lessons.

How did your background prepare you for your new position at Alfi?

I have a philosophy of rotating between high-performing IT organizations and consulting companies. In large IT environments, you learn what’s critical for leadership in that type of public company. You learn a lot about how to work with people to get things done in a large organization. Some people would simply call this big company politics, but that’s only partially true. 

You can learn a lot about compromise, building effective teams, getting people to see and understand your point of view. But the biggest thing I have learned is how to explain the “benefit” of what I am trying to accomplish with any new undertaking. Too many times, people find a new technology or idea and can only explain why it’s cool. It’s far more important to explain why it’s beneficial to the organization.

I learned in consulting how to truly focus on the customer. The customer that is paying our fees but also their end customer. The goal in consulting is to make the person and team that hired us be successful. Sometimes to make that happen is to focus on the end customer, know what delights them, what makes their life a little easier, and then make our products and services as easy to use and beneficial as possible.

These two types of experiences have really set me up nicely to take on the challenge of building products and services at a company like Alfi.

What is your biggest challenge right now?

After years of software engineering and common pitfalls, I have learned to lean on a deployment-first policy. My focus with the team is on making the build and deployment process more like muscle memory. I want our team deploying regularly in an automated fashion. When working in a space that is ripe for disruption, it’s imperative to release new features as quickly as possible to benefit our customer and their experience.

Where do you see Alfi in 5 years?

Currently, I am focused on the short term to stabilize our platform and bring it up to a world-class engineered product. I would be happy to see us evolve into the leader as an AI-driven DOOH SaaS platform that provides products and services that our competition wishes they had. On the business front, I envision our platform enabling the new generation of one-to-few and one-to-one customer beneficial advertisement experiences.

What unique qualities and/or business perspective do you bring to Alfi?

I bring years of disciplined experience in delivering customer-focused products and services to market. I know the challenges, pitfalls, and common mistakes in product delivery and how to overcome them.

In addition, I have a proven track record of building high-performing and agile engineering teams with a common goal of building great products and services. It’s essential that everyone on the team contributes to making the team better. A team is stronger than its individual players.

The team at Alfi is working hard to overcome all those obstacles and hurdles to win, and that’s what we will do in the DOOH advertising space.

Alfi is thrilled to have David Gardner joining its ranks. We look forward to seeing all that this partnership will yield.

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