Navan Welcomes New CIO Kim Huffman

Navan Welcomes New CIO Kim Huffman

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Samantha Shankman

1 Nov 2021
4 minute read
Blog Image // TripActions Welcomes New CIO Kim Huffman

Welcome to The Flight Crew Series, where we sit down with our team members around the world to get to know them better. We talk about the careers that led them to Navan, what their roles look like on a daily basis, why they believe in their teams, and even their favorite travel memory. Read more from the series here.

The Navan team is excited to welcome Kim Huffman as the new Navan Chief Information Officer this month. With 20+ years of experience, Kim will oversee all aspects of the Navan Business Technology organization including Business Systems, Architecture, Integration, Operations & Support.

Finding the Symphony of Technology

Kim started her career in consulting and focused on technology as the key lever for enabling businesses. She was amazed to see how it consistently had the capability to enable businesses across multiple industries and functions. Driven by her interest in products and industries that are changing the status quo, Kim has worked in small startups and large organizations. Her real sweet spot, however, is focusing on high-growth organizations like Navan.

“By building the right infrastructure and business technology foundation, companies scale even faster,” explains Kim, who was most recently the Head of Global IT at Elastic where she led the technology function through the IPO, high growth, and scaling phases.

“When companies have the correct structure in place, they can go very fast and pivot when needed. It allows them to be flexible and agile.”

Kim tends to view organizations as a series of end-to-end business processes across functions and teams. She takes a complete, holistic look at how technology is integrated to support these core business capabilities and how it can help an organization become as efficient as possible.

“One of the reasons I love the technology space so much is because I get to partner with each of the different business functions to understand their pain points, objectives, and KPIs—and how we can use technology to solve or drive those forward,” she says.

A Culture of Resiliency & Grit

Not only was Kim attracted to the challenge and opportunity at Navan, but she greatly admired the leadership team she would soon be joining.

“It was fascinating to speak to the leadership team about the journey that they’ve been on since the pandemic. This team released a new product line, built more features than ever before, brought on new customers, and stayed together during a time when travel virtually stopped. It’s a very compelling team to want to be a part of,” she says.Kim was also inspired by CEO Ariel Cohen’s vision of building a company over the next 20–30 that is long-lasting.

“It is a very compelling long-term vision. It was interesting for me to be part of that and I also believe in organizations that put capabilities into the hands of users, giving them freedom and responsibility to do things on their own or automate certain functions. It makes for a much more efficient, streamlined, and robust experience for an organization to be managed like this,” explains Kim who used Navan as an end-user long before joining the team.

She’s developed an eye for disruptive technology and was excited to see how Navan was changing the travel industry and how that vision extended into expense with Navan Expense and, ultimately, the employee experience with Navan Personal Travel.

Building the Future of Business Travel

While she’s built her career in technology, Kim believes wholeheartedly in the power of in-person interactions.

“Travel will become so much more than going to a customer meeting. It’ll become an avenue and tool for people who no longer meet in the office to work together face-to-face. Human interaction is critical to business and it’s one of the reasons why I believe travel now plays a role in driving culture for remote organizations. We’re going to see a shift in the kinds of travel taking place and how important it is for team meetings and events,” she says.

“Now is the perfect time for me to join so we can get a great technology foundation in place and then we’re ready to rock and roll.”

Favorite work destination: Amsterdam 

Favorite leisure destination: Big Island, Hawaii 

Preferred airline seat: 1B (Aisle) 

Travel hack: Stay hydrated!

Culture is an integral part of what makes Navan who we are and allows us to work together to innovate quickly for our customers and users. See what roles are available to join Navan today.

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