From intern to CEO in 10 years: Michael Johnson to lead Ottawa financial software firm Multiview

Michael Johnson
Incoming Multiview CEO Michael Johnson

After nearly 30 years in business, Ottawa-based Multiview is finally ready to brag about its success.

Over the past two years, the financial software company has gone from 33 employees to 61, and is still growing, says incoming CEO Michael Johnson.

Johnson first joined Multiview as an intern in 2009 when he was a student at Algonquin College. Johnson returned as CFO before becoming president in Feb. 2018 and, in a month’s time, he’ll take the reins of Multiview as CEO.

When asked what brought him back, Johnson says it’s the company’s longstanding culture of treating clients, vendors and employees alike: as family.

“What drew me back to Multiview was the culture and the family atmosphere,” he says. “If you treat people well, whether it be your employees, your clients and partners or vendors, that's where the opportunity comes.”

Multiview’s software combines financial information with other data, such as client retention and project success rates, into one application. The final product is a tool that can help a company’s decision-makers not just look at past results, but analyze what the results mean and use them to move forward.

“What we're trying to do as an organization is really transform accounting from a historical function … to a function that actually drives results based on the information,” explains Johnson. “We believe that organizations are better equipped if they have more timely and accurate information.”

Multiview counts businesses across North America, including in 41 states, as its clients, from small companies to Fortune 500 enterprises. A few big-name clients such as ExxonMobil have helped boost its name – and its customer base, which Johnson says has nearly doubled since he joined just over two years ago.

Johnson projects the company will continue to grow, but says he intends to hold onto Multiview’s company culture with each new hire.

“(Multiview has) never grown at the pace it is now,” he says. “We’re allowing people to drive the innovation.”

Johnson is particularly proud of the company’s 97-per-cent client retention rate. Now, with the sales and marketing team expanded from one to 10 employees, he says it’s time Multiview bragged a little more about what they do.

“Our goal is to become one of the market leaders in this space,” he says. “We’re up against some very large companies, and our position here is very strong.”