Zahiri will be responsible for leading the technology strategy and development team at the Santa Barbara, California-based firm and helping drive products to market. He has 20 years of experience at technology companies, including IBM, and has held the same position at four corporations.
“Zia has an incredibly strong track record as a technology leader and has been able to translate customer and market needs into impactful products and solutions,” said FastSpring CEO David Nachman in a statement. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Zia on board to drive our technology strategy and evolve our product for new markets.”
He holds master’s degrees in electrical and aerospace engineering and computer science.
Zahiri’s most recent role as chief technology officer was with Jaggaer, the North Carolina-based provider of cloud-based business automation technology, which grew dramatically under his leadership to $250 million in revenue before its sale in 2019, FastSpring said.
“Over the last 20 years, I realized the only way to deliver value is to truly understand your customers’ needs and help them achieve their goals,” Zahiri said in a statement. “I look forward to using my passion for helping customers succeed to develop and lead the technology strategy at FastSpring.”
Zahiri has also had success as an entrepreneur, having co-founded iTradeNetwork in 2000, a supply chain for the food services industry that grew to $90 million in revenue under his technical and product leadership, FastSpring said.
Last week, Mark Lambert, FastSpring’s chief financial officer, told PYMNTS that while these have been challenging times for the business world, SaaS firms are generally doing well.
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised overall that on average, FastSpring’s eCommerce customer base has not experienced a significant negative impact,” he said. “In fact, our overall growth is up during the pandemic.”
The shift to SaaS vs. one-time software downloads was underway before COVID-19 but has accelerated this year, he added.
Earlier this year, FastSpring unveiled an improved interface for the company’s platform. In the announcement, the firm said its new product promises to deliver a full-service eCommerce platform for companies selling SaaS.
Kurt Smith, vice president of product and strategy, said customer surveys led to a series of upgrades, including a more contemporary look, a left-hand navigation bar for increased usability, improved product catalog layout and navigation, more intuitive product configuration menus and subscription pages to help sellers accomplish tasks faster.