Run your own race: Meet our new CEO, Michael Ivanchenko

So Michael, tell us more about yourself – where are you from?

I grew up 25km Northwest of Sydney in a suburb called Carlingford. It was an area that had plenty of bush and open spaces, and after school I would disappear and explore or fish in the creek. It’s probably the reason I still love being in nature and the Australian bush! I try and get there whenever I can.

I am a husband, father of two girls, one golden retriever and two cats.

Tell us about life before CVCheck – what led you here?

I studied computer science, economics and psychology, but I was always attracted to technology and how things worked. I would take everything apart and then try and put it back together – most of the time it actually worked, and I didn’t have any pieces left over! My parents were very patient…

I studied at a time when the internet was just coming into existence and the Mac was born. I was fascinated by Apple’s approach – the human design meets technology angle resonated with me very strongly – and I worked on a number of Apple-based products.

This led to the start of Vulcan, which wrote gaming and wagering software, along with financial markets and derivatives trading software. Our big thing was using this new internet fad to connect systems in different offices, which was pretty cool in the nineties!

Eventually OpenTV acquired Vulcan and I spent the next ten years in engineering, product and sales roles, going on to run worldwide sales. OpenTV was then acquired by Kudleski group in Switzerland, and I ran Asia Pacific for them. From there I was approached by Foxtel where I was executive director of product for eight years.

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

Run your own race. Everyone’s story is different – have your own goals and ambitions but don’t measure yourself against others around you.  Stay focussed but be flexible on how you get there. Journeys are rarely a straight line and when you accept the windy bits you can enjoy it even more.

What element of your work do you find to be the most rewarding?

I love the sense of achievement amongst a team when we make something big happen or achieve a major milestone. That moment when everyone feels part of the same thing is a time that I find humbling to be a leader, and feel very real joy.

To have those moments you have to be conscious of the things you can do to bring the team together, support them and help them achieve their goals. The quote that I think sums this up is:

“Help people develop so they can leave and treat them so they don’t want to”.

What are your first impressions of CVCheck?

A great business that is just getting started. Any company is only as good as its people and their culture, and I love CVCheck’s values of creativity, leadership, integrity, enthusiasm, nurture and truth. The fact that these words spell “client” says everything.

It’s also been fantastic to meet the team! Everyone I’ve spoken to has been open, genuine and welcoming, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone better.

What excites you about the future, both personally and professionally?

Personally, right now I am looking forward to the world getting past Covid, the borders opening up and people getting together. 

Professionally, I can’t wait to throw myself into the role and help move the company forward. It’s a really exciting time with the integration of Bright Technologies, lots of new exciting product development and plans for segment and international expansion.

How do you relax and unwind after a busy workday?

I love to cook and prepare food – I have a real passion for learning different techniques, their history and flavour combinations. Whenever I can, I go fishing. I am also very enthusiastic about building things, and my family knows that I have to have a project underway at all times!

I am also a big reader of major global events and history, with a particular love of cold war submarine history – yes Hunt for Red October IS the best movie ever.

At the end of the day though, preparing a meal with friends, a glass of bubbles and a good chat is a pretty good way to unwind.