How Axcient Found CFO With IPO Experience (Thank ShoreTel)
Axcient, a cloud storage company that works closely with VARs and MSPs, has hired John Finegan, a CFO with extensive IPO (Initial Public Offering) experience. But how exactly did Axcient find Finegan (pictured) — a 35-year finance veteran who previously was CFO of Cornerstone and ShoreTel during their successful IPOs? The answer comes from Axcient’s board of directors, which includes former ShoreTel CEO Thomas T. van Overbeek.
In an email exchange with The VAR Guy, Axcient CEO Justin Moore revealed:
“John [Finegan] actually came to us through one of my board members (the former CEO of Shoretel) who had worked with John at a number of companies. John has that rare combination of pragmatism and strategy that is rare in a CFO. What’s more, he gets that businesses, and more importantly people, can’t be run from a spreadsheet.”
In a lengthy email, Moore described how Finegan “has a hawkish eye on every penny the company spends and brings that harsh dose of reality to the table that only a CFO can bring, he gets the people part, the culture part and the strategy part extremely well.”
Oh, and About That IPO Expertise
Dig a little deeper in the email exchange, and Moore finally mentions those IPO aspirations. Yes, Axcient is building a company for the long haul. But that could also include an initial public offering at some point. “Finegan’s deep knowledge of the channel, his strong track-record with IPO’s and his overall successful career as a CFO of large and growing companies and John became an obvious choice [for CFO].
Within the IT channel, numerous storage companies are attempting to promote BDR (backup and disaster recovery) solutions to VARs and MSPs. Often, the conversations involve MSP-centric options in the small business market. But Moore is working hard to keep Axcient focused on larger opportunities — seeking to displace Symantec Backup Exec and other entrenched solutions within mid-market organizations, and seeking slightly larger VARs that can assist those efforts.
Moore has also been careful not to hype managed services as a fast lane to big profits. During a recent HP-Axcient conference in New York, he outlined a five-year path to help VARs and MSPs generate $700,000 in annual recurring revenues.
The VAR Guy wonders: Will Axcient’s potential path to IPO also require five years? Or does Finegan and Axcient’s board have something in mind for something sooner… Hmmm…