Oura is pleased to welcome Sean Brecker as our new Chief Financial Officer. In this role, Sean is responsible for driving all aspects of Oura’s financial activities including capital raising, financial reporting, planning, treasury, investor and board relations, and corporate strategy.
Prior to Oura, Sean spent nearly a decade at Headspace, the world’s leading mental health platform. Throughout his tenure, he held multiple positions including CEO and CFO, and he currently serves on Headspace’s Board of Directors.
Before pursuing a career in the health and wellness industry, Sean worked as a trader and originator at large investment banks, such as J.P. Morgan, Lehman Brothers, and Citigroup, in New York, London, and Singapore.
In addition to his board responsibilities at Headspace, Sean also sits on the Board of Directors of CoachArt, a nonprofit organization that creates transformative arts and athletics communities for families impacted by childhood chronic illness.
He holds a B.A. degree in Mathematics/Economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA with honors in Financial Engineering from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Sean lives in Los Angeles with his wife, three children, and two pugs. In his spare time, he can be found cooking, reading architecture blogs, hiking, playing tennis, or swimming in the ocean with his kids. Learn more about Sean in his Q&A below!
What brought you to Oura?
I’ve been a fan of Oura for a couple years. I love the form factor of the ring, as well as the gentleness of the insights and prompts. Oura doesn’t shame me if I’ve had a bad night’s sleep or have been trapped at my desk all day; instead, its gentle encouragement speaks to me and helps me change habits for the better.
I had known Tom [Hale, CEO] for a couple years, and when he reached out to me about the CFO position, I was immediately intrigued. Plus, I’ve always had the utmost respect for Tom, which made the opportunity even more enticing. As I got to know the executive team and various members of the board and saw people’s passion about Oura’s mission to impact people’s lives, I became even more excited and motivated.
How has your background prepared you for your role at Oura?
There are a lot of similarities (and differences for that matter) between Headspace and Oura. Both are obviously about health and wellness, and to some degree, both created a category. At Headspace, I had the privilege of having a front row seat to how that category creation, education, and scaling occurs. I also built a finance and accounting function from scratch, a first for me.
Oura is more mature than Headspace was when I joined it almost a decade ago, but there is still much to build. I am excited to apply my learnings and knowledge from Headspace to the work to be done at Oura.
What is your favorite Oura feature?
In June, Oura probably saved my summer vacation. My Oura data gave me an insight that something was off — my body temperature was elevated, and my HRV and blood oxygen saturation looked weird. I felt slightly off, but I would not have otherwise thought to have taken a COVID test. Then I took a test, and voila, I had COVID.
This was five days before my twins’ elementary school graduation and six days before departing on a two week vacation to Asia. Catching it early meant (1) I could quarantine, and (2) I could take Paxlovid to get through it quickly. As a result, no one else in my family got it, and I was able to test negative. I was cleared to attend my kids’ graduation and to fly to Asia with my family. So it really saved my summer.
I also like looking at my heart rate throughout the day. I pay close attention to noticing what things can make my heart rate even slightly elevated — physical activity, a stressful meeting, a big deadline or decision. I frequently take live HR readings in those moments to tie physiological feelings to mental/emotional feelings.
Tell us about your family.
I live in Los Angeles with my wife of 17 years, Heidi, our three children, and two pugs. My family is everything to me. Heidi grew up as a competitive figure skater, and to this day, one of my biggest joys in life is watching my wife skate. My oldest son, Felix (14), is a passionate athlete who has dedicated himself to basketball. Our two youngest are twins (12), Eiffel and Dashel. Eiffel is an artist — painting, drawing, sculpting, knitting, you name it! Dashel (Dash) is a basketball player like his older brother, and he also loves gaming. Fortnite is his current game of choice.
We also have two pugs that we’ve rescued: Cosmo, who we think is about 10 years old, and Primrose, who we think is about 4 years old.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I absolutely love cooking. It’s fun for me to hone my craft, learn new techniques, and experiment with different kitchen gadgets. When I’m not cooking, I love being outdoors. I try to take advantage of all that Los Angeles has to offer, frequently hiking and trying to get into the water regardless of the season.
What’s your non-negotiable daily health habit?
I have to get outdoors every day, even if it’s just a few minutes. I am blessed to live in a beautiful part of Los Angeles where I can easily get outside. The key is that I put my phone away and observe the magic of nature. It’s a form of meditation that leaves me feeling energized and focused.