David Faugno arrives at Qualtrics in year of tech IPO growth
Qualtrics on track for about $250 million in revenue this year
David Faugno, who worked at Barracuda Networks for a decade, started at Qualtrics this month as the company’s first CFO, said Chief Executive Officer Ryan Smith.
Qualtrics, a $2.5 billion business that’s expected to have revenue of about $250 million this year, is among a handful of growing private companies making moves toward public markets. Web security and performance software maker CloudFlare Inc. hiredSymantec Corp.’s former chief financial officer this year to fill the same role as it prepares for an IPO.
This year has seen larger IPOs for technology companies that sell to businesses. Fourteen have listed in 2017 after selling a combined total of $2.7 billion in new stock. That compares with $1.9 billion raised by 18 companies last year.
In hiring Faugno, Smith said he wanted someone with public company experience who had helped manage a high-growth organization, including acquiring other businesses. Smith, who said he spent two years mulling who to hire, said he also wanted someone who would fit Qualtrics’s culture.
At Barracuda Networks from 2006 to 2016, Faugno acquired more than 10 companies in addition to leading its 2013 IPO. Previously, he was senior director of corporate finance in the mergers and acquisitions team at Cisco Systems Inc.
“That’s a good signal for where Qualtrics is going,” Smith said in an interview. “For me personally, I don’t want a mercenary. I want someone to come in and be all in on the business.”
Qualtrics, based in Provo, Utah, makes experience-management software for uses such as customer surveys. Its clients include JetBlue Airways Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Walt Disney Co. The company’s newest offering, the XM Platform, is designed to measure and analyze the experience of customers and employees, as well as perceptions of products and brands.
“We feel like XM is going to be like Workday and Salesforce,” Smith said. “If the public market can help accelerate that vision as a company, and it can in a couple ways, then you definitely go public. That’s what we have in the future.”
Faugno, who was with Barracuda networks from the time it offered a single product until the time it was a $1.2 billion company, said the XM Platform’s potential is a main reason he took the job with Qualtrics. Faugno, who was hired in September 2016 at online auto marketplace Beepi Inc. as its first CFO, said he had met with at least a dozen companies that believed they were IPO candidates before taking the Qualtrics job.
“There’s this concept of an obligation to grow,” Faugno said in an interview. “We’ve got such an amazing opportunity to build something tremendous here.”