Eugene van der Meulen
Global Business Operations
and Transformation Executive

Transformational change leader with 15+ years of experience in enterprise software and financial technology. Data-driven, charismatic change agent who leverages a unique combination of technical and general management skills to easily transition between detailed analysis, strategic planning, and executive leadership at the global level. Testimonials from CXOs and senior executives affirm deep expertise in developing the strategic and business operations capabilities that drive growth and profitability.

Areas of Expertise:

 

  • Build and manage growth and value-oriented business operations and service delivery organizations.
  • Direct large-scale, cross-functional portfolios and programs to drive end-to-end transformation.
  • Leverage data-driven insights, KPIs, and agility practices to drive performance and continuous improvement.
  • Develop strategy and connect it to execution as a strategic partner to CXOs and senior executives.
Bio

Experience

Jun 2020-Dec 2022

Vice President, Head of Global Transformation

Directed global portfolio of transformation programs that targeted revenue growth and profitability. Projects included the company’s restructuring that resulted in $35M in annual savings, a business line divestiture, and developing cross-functional workflows to improve coordination and agility. Led C-level processes to manage company performance and prepared material for the board of directors.

Jan 2016-Jun 2020

Global Strategy Director & Chief of Staff to COO

Drove the 5-year corporate strategic planning process and annual company-wide budgeting process for the $1.4B revenue business. Collaborated with executive leadership to evaluate their strategic choices, proposals and business cases. Developed and led Chief Operating Officer’s processes, KPIs and communications for oversight of 3,000 people. Led company-wide transformation initiative that improved business agility and supported double digit revenue growth for several product P&Ls.

Jul 2013-Dec 2015

Software Engineering Director

Led a globally distributed team that developed payments software for major global banks and merchants. Promoted to this position and given the mandate to improve the ~150-person team’s struggling operations. Defined a new mission statement, restructured the organization, revamped its core processes, and coached managers resulting in improvements of 11% in billable time, 20% in development lead time, and 15% in project schedule reliability. Success resulted in additional investment and the team’s growth to ~200 people with a $15M budget.

Jan 2012-Jun 2013

Global Customer Support Director

Led a globally distributed team that supported payment systems for major global banks and merchants. Implemented strategies to improve customer satisfaction and product stability. Developed repeatable problem-solving frameworks and standardized global processes, resulting in improvements of 29% in case resolution time, 13% in customer satisfaction, and 8% in SLA attainment. Managed ~50 application support engineers with a $5M budget.

Jan 2008-Dec 2011

International Support & Implementation Manager

Assembled and led a team that provided implementation services, production support, and defect fixes for payment systems for major banks and retailers. Started with a team of seven, and its success led to its organic growth to ~40 application support engineers and software developers in two years. Developed core processes and continuously expanded and improved upon them as the team grew with its customer base and management’s expectations.

Results

Developed and led Chief Operating Officer’s processes, KPIs and communications for oversight of 3,000 people.

Reduced annual costs by $35M by overseeing company-wide restructuring program, thereby freeing up resources for investment in growth opportunities.

Supervised the company-wide annual budgeting process for a $1.4B revenue business from kick-off to board of directors’ approval.

Expertise

  • Strategic Planning
  • Global Business Operations
  • Fintech and Payments
  • Global Transformation
  • Executive Communications
  • Cross-Functional Leadership
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • Agile and Lean Methodologies
  • SDLC Management
  • Organizational Development
  • Cloud Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence

Education

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Strategy & Operations
summa cum laude

Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) Information Systems

Testimonials

Johannes Roets, Chief Executive Officer, Dragonfly Financial Technologies

Eugene’s passion is discovering, designing, and implementing those processes and mechanisms that will make businesses more successful. He is well-versed in interaction with public company C-suite executives and has effective communication skills. In addition to being very bright, Eugene also has a high EQ, which is necessary to work successfully cross-functionally.

Benny Tadele, EVP and Head of North America, ACI Worldwide

Eugene has easily transitioned between various leadership roles and has consistently shown a willingness to take on new challenges. His combination of operational and strategic thinking, leadership skills, and ability to learn quickly make him an ideal candidate for any organization.

Siboniso Nxumalo, Chief Investment Officer, Old Mutual Investment Group

Eugene’s attention to detail, ability to drive a team to excellence in a particular task, and his ability to grasp technical concepts is unparalleled. Easily one of the smartest and most driven people I’ve ever interacted with.

Nerisha Maharaj, International Executive Leadership Coach and Author

Eugene is probably one of the most intelligent, courageous, disciplined, and compassionate people I know. He is a born leader with the ability to mobilize people toward high standards of goal achievement while displaying emotional intelligence and great integrity in the process.

George Kalebaila, Technology Strategy & Cloud Advisory, Accenture

I would unreservedly recommend Eugene for any top leadership position in any organization as he has both the charisma and persona to inspire and energize his base, attributes that are essential for success at top leadership level.

Derek O’Grady, VP, Customer Experience, Forrester

I had the pleasure of working with Eugene for several years, and his thoughtful approach, collaborative demeanor, reliability, sense of ethics, and business acumen made him one of my most valued business partners.

Grant Visser, Global Director of Strategy & Planning, The Absolut Company

Eugene is worth his weight in gold and will be a linchpin and integral success factor in any team he finds himself in. I would not be surprised if he ends up leading the team within a very short space of time.

Andria Lubbe, Software Engineering Manager, Meta

Eugene is one of the most committed and hard-working managers with whom I have ever worked. He communicates proactively and very effectively. He cares deeply about the individuals who work in his division, and he puts a lot of time and energy into mentoring and coaching them.

Q&A

What can you share about your household?

I have three ragdoll cats (Chewbacca, Frodo, and Daenerys), two kids (Catherine and Matthew), and one wife (Robyn). You may be able to tell from my cats’ names that our family enjoys sci-fi and fantasy movies and books!
We’re originally from South Africa and relocated to the US in 2016, and we currently reside in sunny Florida.

What causes are you passionate about?

Wildlife and animal welfare are close to my heart. We “adopted” lions at a South Africa wildlife sanctuary for big cats that were raised in captivity. My daughter and I love watching nature and animal documentaries together – anything narrated by Sir David Attenborough is always a hit!
A related cause is sustainability and combating climate change: future generations depend on us to be good custodians of our planet. And if humanity ever wants to become a star-faring species, we’ll need to take care of our home before we can reach for the stars.

What are your favorite travel destinations, and why?

Three come to mind: Japan, Spain, and Thailand.
Japan is my personal favorite – the high-tech cityscape in Tokyo, the traditional architecture in Kyoto, and the deep culture and traditions are truly remarkable.
In Spain, the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, the Santa Maria abbey on the Montserrat mountain, and the rolling vineyards in the countryside stand out as the most memorable.
In Thailand, the excitement of exploring Bangkok in rickshaw taxis (and often going into oncoming traffic!) contrasted with the beautiful scenery on the resort-style island of Koh Samui. Unforgettable.

Are you a sports fan? Who are your favorite athletes?

I’m a big fan of mixed martial arts (MMA). I have a black belt in karate and dabbled in some ninjitsu. I can no longer practice due to injuries but I consider myself an enthusiastic spectator.
My favorite MMA athlete is Georges St-Pierre, who is now retired and in the UFC Hall of Fame. Not only was he a two-division champion, but he is also a role model for the sport. He has great integrity and lives his values regardless of circumstances. He’s the kind of person that young people can look up to.
A quote from his book, The Way of the Fight, resonates with me: “I keep the white-belt mentality that I can learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime.” Great advice, regardless of where you are in your career.

What other topics are you interested in?

Economics, artificial intelligence, the video game industry, and high-performance computing hardware. Take a look at my Influences section lower down for some more insight into topics I like to read about.

INTERESTS & HOBBIES

Reading

Martial Arts

Strategy Games