Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Eyes on an IPO, Jive Software Adds Four Directors, All With Public Company Experience

In its latest step toward an initial public offering, social enterprise software concern Jive announced that it is bulking up its board of directors, adding four new members, all of them with either experience on public boards or at large publicly held or soon-to-be-public companies.

Two of the new directors come from the software security firm McAfee, where Jive CEO Tony Zingale held a board seat from 2008 until its $7.7 billion acquisition by chip giant Intel: Charles Robel was McAfee’s chairman and has been on its board’s audit committee, and sits on the board of Autodesk and is the lead independent director on the board of Informatica; and David DeWalt was McAfee’s president, and before that was president of software sales and services at storage giant EMC, following the acquisition of Documentum, which it acquired in 2003 and where he was CEO. Dewalt is chairman of the board at Polycom.

Jonathan  Heiliger  is  the  Vice  President  of  Technical Operations at Facebook, meaning he’s the one who makes Facebook go. He reports directly to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Before that he led the engineering team at, and before that he was COO at Loudcloud, the company that ultimately became Opsware.

Sundar  Pichai  is  vice  President  of  product  management at Google, and oversees such products as Google  Toolbar,  Chrome  and Chrome  OS. Before Google, he worked at Applied Materials, the maker of chip manufacturing gear, and was management consulting for McKinsey and Co.

I asked CEO Tony Zingale about Jive’s plans to go public. He wouldn’t comment on that, naturally, but its well understood that Zingale, who ran software company Mercury Interactive until its $4.5 billion sale to HP, was brought on with an IPO in mind, as The Wall Street Journal reported last year. He also wouldn’t comment when I asked him if Jive has hired any bankers.

But he did say that Jive is at what he called “an inflection point.” In case you hadn’t notice, social enterprise software is a segment that’s growing like crazy, with offerings from, Parature, Yammer, and a host of others. “We’re building the next great enterprise software company,” Zingale says. “And guys like this don’t join boards of companies that aren’t already successful and that don’t have a pretty good runway ahead of them.”

Jive certainly has some momentum. It has about 3,000 corporate customers–including big names like Cisco Systems, Nike, VMWare, Intel and fast food giant Yum Brands–and about 15 million end users. And last year it landed a big $30 million investment from Kleiner Perkins. Its other investor is Sequoia Capital, which invested $15 million in 2007. Boomtown’s Kara Swisher talked to Zingale and another Jive director Ted Schlein about the investment in a video interview last year, which I’ve added below.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik