New Opportunity: VP of Finance at SawStop

About the Company

SawStop is a technology-focused company that has become the world leader in premium table saws and accessories. SawStop’s saws are equipped Active Injury Mitigation (AIM), a technology the company pioneered. AIM detects contact between the user and the blade and deploys a brake to stop the blade in less than 5 milliseconds, avoiding serious injury.

SawStop’s AIM technology was invented by Steve Gass, a lifelong woodworker with a Ph.D. in physics. Dr. Gass, along with three colleagues, founded SawStop in 2000 to commercialize the technology. Working from Dr. Gass’ barn/shop, the founders created a new table saw incorporating AIM technology as well as many other improvements. That saw was an immediate success when released in late 2004 and the company has since essentially taken over the industrial table saw market. SawStop now has over 120,000 saws in the field and has documentation of over 5,000 fingers saved by SawStop saws.

SawStop was founded by patent attorneys with backgrounds in science and engineering, and the company recognizes the value of innovation and technology. SawStop focuses on premium quality woodworking products with an emphasis on safety. Hand in hand with this focus on innovation is a diligence in protecting that innovation with patents. SawStop has received over 100 US and foreign patents to date and continues to file and enforce new patents on the inventions created through its ongoing R&D. The company is uniquely positioned to grow, redoubling its focus on product innovation and industry leading quality.

In July 2017, a family-owned German power tool company, TTS Tooltechnic Systems, purchased SawStop. TTS was founded in 1925 and is respected around the world for their innovation, quality, and gold-standard market position. TTS (and their largest company, Festool) has a long and proven record of precision high-tech products. SawStop and Festool each focus on premier products in their respective markets and have minimal product overlap.

SawStop’s history has taken it from humble beginnings to North American dominance. SawStop has achieved this success quickly by creating market differentiation through better design and safer technology. By joining TTS, SawStop now has the ability to significantly expand market reach and product scope going forward.

About the Position

The VP of Finance will be responsible for ensuring that our financial reporting is accurate and timely, and that company leadership has access to reliable data necessary to effectively manage the organization. Additionally, the VP of Finance will evaluate, enhance, and manage all finance-related budgets, forecasts and processes. This role will be a partner to the CEO in ensuring that SawStop’s financial performance is aligned with the strategic plan and the accounting and finance organization functions efficiently and with a high degree of service to the organization. The ideal VP of Finance will always be one step ahead to anticipate the ambitious goals of the individual departments and the company.

Principal Position Responsibilities

  • Manage, lead, and develop a team of direct reports responsible for all accounting and finance functions including AP, AR, Payroll, and Financial Planning & Analysis processes.
  • Support and take responsibility for all internal and external audits and/or reviews. Build productive relationships with auditors and parent company.
  • Participate in business and financial planning, including annual budgets, revenue forecasts, and projections.
  • Provides leadership for the continuous evaluation of short and long-term strategic financial objectives.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with senior management as to identify their needs and seek full range of business solutions.
  • Comply with local, state, and federal government reporting requirements and preparation and filing of all state and local taxes. Prepares schedules and documentation necessary for annual income tax preparation for our parent company.
  • Responsible for:
    • Accounting, Controlling and Reporting
      • Responsible for deadline-driven month-end closing and internal reporting
      • Preparation of financial statements under US GAAP, year-end translations to German GAAP and monthly controlling reports to the parent company
      • Regular review and true up of investments
        • Both regular capex and DCF based enterprise values
        • WACC reviews and true ups
        • Reporting to the ultimate parents’ CFO and Supervisory Board
      • PPA expertise and potential implications of business practices
    • Expertise in financial consolidation of multiple entities
    • Multidimensional controlling approach of contribution margins and profit and cost centers
    • Product P&L calculations
  • Treasury
    • Active working capital and cash flow management
    • Continuous evaluation of FX exposure and hedging knowledge
    • Manage non-HR related company insurances
  • Taxes
    • Manage tax advisors and requests
    • Acting liaison to parent company for cross border passthrough taxation matters
    • Review corporate income tax returns
    • Remittances and review of state sales taxes
  • Periodic travel to parent company in Germany

Required Qualifications

  • BS or higher in relevant field
  • CPA, CFA or equivalent
  • Proven experience in the relevant fields of finance, accounting, treasury and controlling
  • Proven lead in historical US GAAP audits or multiple years of experience at an audit firm
  • Excellent US GAAP knowledge a must; German GAAP knowledge a plus
  • Excellent MS Office skills
  • Consistent, accurate, and thorough with an eye for details
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Able to work in a deadline-driven environment
  • Clear written and oral communication skills
  • Hands-on mentality and practical skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • MBA
  • Knowledge in SawStop ERP: Sage and TTS ERP: SAP; ERP transition experience
  • Avalara (Sales Tax) experience
  • Tableau BI experience
  • German language skills

Ready to Apply?

180one is a retained search firm and has been engaged by SawStop to manage this search. If interested in learning more about the opportunity, please contact Lisa Heffernan at 180one.


Head on over to our Placements/Opportunities page to see what else we’ve been working on!