Less than a year after becoming chief executive officer of YouSendIt, Brad Garlinghouse has brought big changes to the online storage business by focusing its resources more on corporate customers and less on free users.
Now he’s hired a chief financial officer to help prepare the company for the next stage of growth: a possible initial public offering.
Ned Sizer, a former finance executive at Ancestry.com, is joining YouSendIt as CFO, Garlinghouse said in an interview this week. Sizer previously joined two startups as they prepared for IPOs — Omniture, which went public in 2006, and Silver Spring Networks, which has scheduled its IPO for March. He sees a similar opportunity for YouSendIt.
“I bring a lot to the table around capital markets, IPOs and acquisitions, because I’ve been in the Valley,” Sizer, 47, said in an interview. YouSendIt is “an undervalued asset with the right team in place.”
Most of that leadership team has joined since the arrival of Garlinghouse, a veteran of AOL and Yahoo who has poached former colleagues to fill his management bench. Eric van Miltenburg, senior vice president of interational, business and corporate development, and Matte Scheinker, chief product officer, are both Yahoo alums. Communications chief Kiersten Hollars and human resources head Lynne Collins worked with Garlinghouse at AOL. These managers, along with marketing chief Mike Trigg, all joined YouSendIt in the past year.
Garlinghouse said YouSendIt will benefit from the experience his deputies have in building and marketing consumer Web applications as he attempts to create easier-to-use tools for businesses. Of the 40 million customers who use the site’s tools for storing and managing data, about 60 percent are businesses, he said.
“We started life as a consumer-centric tool to help you send files and now we have Fortune 100 customers,” Garlinghouse said. Offering simple software that works as easily as an online app “will be a critical success component to any company going after the enterprise market.”
The CEO has more changes in store. He plans to relocate the company’s 200-plus employees from their current headquarters in Campbell, California, to an office that’s closer to San Francisco and easier for commuters to access. And sometime this year, he’ll christen the company with a new name — YouSendIt sounds too much like a consumer file-sharing product, he said.
While Garlinghouse sees an IPO as a strong possibility, he’s learned a lesson from technology startups in recent years that have gone public too soon.
“We as an industry have witnessed companies that might have gone public prematurely,” Garlinghouse said. “We are going to learn from that and be in a better and stronger position to deliver for our current investors and future investors.”