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CTO (Chief Technology Officer)

Closing date
23 Feb 2021

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Technology & New Media
Contract Type
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Job Details

Vitol is the world's biggest independent energy trading company with 40 offices worldwide. For the last half century, we have served the world's energy markets efficiently and responsibly. We trade over seven million barrels of crude oil a day, whilst supporting initiatives and investments to transition to alternate energy sources. We decided to leverage our credibility, expertise and infrastructure in the world of fuel retailing to reimagine used car marketplaces, and created VavaCars.

VavaCars currently operates in Turkey and Pakistan with more emerging markets to follow. The company employs c130 heads, with c50 in engineering. We use Vitol's existing assets like petrol stations to provide trusted, local and convenient access points for our service. We aim to create an oasis of calm at these locations - and through all touch-points including the customer facing mobile-first website where the journey begins for consumers and dealers. We have redesigned the process for selling a car, removing the need for existing consumer pain points classifieds sites, phone calls, trust issues in dealing with strangers, insurance for test drives, valuation, negotiation and worries in securing payment. We've built a whole new consumer proposition anchored in Transparency, Simplicity, Convenience and Trust.

We have significant traction in applying a model similar to Auto1 and Carvana but adapted for markets not used to this level of convenience and service; over $110M of GMV in 2020 following our launch in April 2019 delivering the potential for high reward through our ESOP program.

The RoleTo deliver this transformative consumer experience we've had to build bespoke technology platforms that are delightfully simple to the consumer, but behind the scenes are robust and sophisticated systems, enabling for example, cars to be quickly and accurately valued using our proprietary AI/ML systems, and traded through our high volume real-time dealer auctions, with each auction experiencing hundreds of simultaneous dealer interactions per minute.

We are seeking a commercially astute, entrepreneurial and visionary technology leader to join us in London or Istanbul to own, optimise and evolve our tech and product platforms. We are looking for a builder with a demonstrable track record of building teams, processes and products that work intuitively, reliably and at scale. The role reports to the Co-founder & CEO, VavaCars.

You've had experience of fast moving, high growth environments in ambitious scaling companies. You know how to balance long term strategic needs with short term service level imperatives, and how to show steady and near-continuous progress towards goals.

You have the communication skills to impress our leadership with your technology vision, whilst demonstrating your clear understanding of the architectural challenges to earn the trust of your team. Whilst you know how to get the best from your team through delegation and empowerment, you understand that you must always own responsibility for the technology function and output.

The Responsibilities
  • Define and evolve the overall technology strategy and product vision aligned with the company's ambitious goals, working closely with the CPO. You'll use the best of your creative skills and entrepreneurial instincts to help us imagine how our platforms will evolve to the next level;
  • Together with the CPO and with the input of our cross-functional business owners you will build a product roadmap that delivers across five distinct journeys (consumer buying, consumer selling, dealer, inspector, internal back-office admin). Together you will ensure a healthy and constructive creative tension for agile and pragmatic delivery towards our goals;
  • To hire, develop and retain a talented and productive team of engineers across the mission critical domains including software development, solutions architecture, data science, QA, delivery whilst ensuring resilience, compliance and scalability;
  • To manage our fast growing off-shore team of engineers based in Ukraine, ensuring productive high-quality output from this efficient resource pool to complement your in- house team;
  • Establish high trust relationships with the Country teams and show that you are progressing towards and beyond the global KPIs driving our company;
  • Proactively identify new business development opportunities; build relationships with product and technology partners to create unions that will help us move faster in service of the overall vision and mission; be open to partnering instead of building;
  • Champion a culture of test-learn-iterate in everything that technology does;
  • We have a facts first culture and you will be expected to champion this as part of theleadership team; we really value your opinions and insights but we always like to startwith the facts and be able to filter out opinions masquerading as facts;
  • Whilst balancing long term vision and short term delivery, you will still retain a rigoroushandle on the technology budget, both from a cost and sequencing perspective;
  • One of the critical success factors for this role is for you to be able to drown out thenoise, be able to say no, be able to manage priorities and be able to ensure a laser like focus that allows you to keep your promises; leadership is not a popularity contest and the CTO must respecfully demonstrate this. You are a calm and confident leader, who knows how to dig deep on adaptability and resilience when called for.

  • A demonstrable track record of technology management and delivery in high growth environments with technology headcount budgets above $5M;
  • Experience hiring, building and retaining a team, particularly through periods of sustained growth;
  • Experience of managing distributed, off-shore development teams and creating a one team culture
  • Experience of building marketplaces, or at least B2C / retail propositions
  • Experience in creating process and systems to execute across multiple Internationalmarkets and deliver a vision, globally;
  • You are experienced in being responsible for high-reliability, low-latency, real-time systems and you know the importance of ensuring reliability every-day, every-hour and with every release;
  • You are experienced and battle-worn in the dark arts of software development processes and agile frameworks - you have pragmatic recommendations on how to deliver based on your experiences;
  • Strong technical knowledge and able to communicate effectively with engineers and developers as well as business leaders. Knowledge of our specific tech stack would be an advantage;
  • Exposure to international working environments, customs and cultures. To build your relationships with our off-shore partners and country teams you should expect travel to Ukraine, Istanbul regularly and Karachi at least annually with other locations as we continue to roll-out.
  • You must be comfortable managing remote teams across disparate locations but also able and willing to come to the office, government and company guidelines permitting; under normal circumstances this is not a 'WFH' role.

Technology Stack
  • Microsoft Azure Cloud
  • Azure Solution Lifecyle management Azure DevOps Boards, Repos, Pipelines, etc
  • Identity Management Active Directory (Inc B2C)
  • Data storage MySQL, Azure SQL database DataWarehouse and Redis Cache
  • Networking DNS, Traffic Manager, Virtual Network, Load Balancer
  • Technology Framework .NET core, ASP.NET Core, SignalR, Entity Framework Core, MS Test
  • Programming Language C#, Angular
  • Microsoft Azure Resource Manager and monitoring with Application Insights
  • Collaboration tools based on Microsoft 365 Platform
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM and F&O)

  • Unique entrepreneurial and leadership opportunity to sketch your career masterpiece
  • Play a key role in making a dent on the auto universe
  • Work as part of a global, well-funded and highly ambitious organisation
  • Highly competitive compensation; you will co-own what you build

The PackageVavaCars is a start-up that sits within the Vitol Investment team; the team is driven, energetic, well-financed with the ambition to create a highly scalable business with enormous shareholder value. The package will reflect this, with a competitive base salary, bonus and stock options in the new venture.

Location London (or Istanbul) with the need for travel to Istanbul x1 quarterly, Ukraine x1 quarterly & Karachi x1 annually

Reporting to Co-founder & CEO
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