Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

With IPO Buzz Building, RingCentral Hires New CFO

RingCentral, the cloud-based office phone system that last year raised a $10 million Series D round from Cisco Systems and Scale Venture Partners, has just brought aboard a new CFO.

The company has hired Robert J. Lawson, whose last gig was as CFO of Codexis, a biofuel company. His resume also includes stops at Intuit and General Electric.

RingCentral is essentially an Internet-based phone service that gives a small company an easy way to seem bigger than it is. Its investors include Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures and DAG Ventures, and it has raised a combined $44 million in capital since being founded in 2003. The company has about 200,000 businesses signed up, and its service is resold by AT&T.

It has been getting early IPO buzz for about a year. And while the company won’t say that Lawson’s brief will include shaping things up for a roadshow, the fact that Codexis went public in 2010 isn’t exactly going to tamp down the expectation that RingCentral could file an S1 before the year is out. Could hiring bankers be next?

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work