Former Spend Matters “Analyst” Kase: A VP By Any Other Name . . .

Posted on May 1, 2017


A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a frequently referenced part of William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her rival’s house of Montague, that is, that he is named “Montague.” – Wikipedia

In Friday’s post 4 Major Problems With Jason Busch’s Post Regarding COUPA Kase, I had made reference to two key statements in Jason’s Spend Matters response regarding former SM employee Thomas Kase’s move to Coupa.

The first, was Jason’s referring to Kase as an analyst, while the Coupa press release said that he was vice president of research and lead analyst.

The second was Jason’s indication that “Thomas last covered procurement for Spend Matters in January of 2016.”

Why does this matter? Because it is usually the subtle contradictions that raise a red flag, perhaps even more than the flagrant appearance of a conflict of interest. In my next post, I will discuss the latter point pertaining to the inherent flaws of NDA’s and the myth of Chinese Walls as a means of addressing such conflicts.

However, why would Coupa trumpet Kase’s credentials as a “vice president of research and lead analyst where he was responsible for sourcing, supplier management and other initiatives in the source-to-pay area,” while Jason simply refers to him as an analyst who last “covered procurement for Spend Matters” more than a year ago?

Granted, and as reported here on Friday, Kase’s title from April 2016 to the present is listed as Spend Matters Fellow, Analyst, Sourcing and Supplier Management, which is different from his job title between 2011 and January 2016, when he was listed as being VP Research, Lead Analyst Sourcing & Supplier Management. However, his job description is virtually identical to both positions (see screen capture from Kase’s LinkedIn profile below).

Kase SM job descriptions

At the end of the day, the biggest issue with this “confusion” over job titles and corresponding responsibilities, is in its appearance.

While Coupa is trumpeting Kase’s credentials, in addition, to his “everyone is doing it” assertions and claims of a “rock solid NDA” being in place, Jason’s weak efforts at minimizing Kase’s role at Spend Matters can’t help but make you wonder if he himself is actually buying what he is trying to sell.

What do I mean when I use the term trying to sell? My next post on NDA’s and the collapse of the Chinese Walls they purportedly build will answer that question.

In the meantime, you can follow this developing story on Twitter using the hashtag #coupakase

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Posted in: Commentary