Kara Swisher

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Eventbrite Hires CFO in Expansion of Top Exec Ranks

Mark J Rubash

In its first C-level hire from outside the company, Eventbrite has brought in experienced finance exec Mark Rubash as CFO. The San Francisco-based self-service ticketing platform has hired the former Shutterfly CFO — who also held top finance jobs at eBay and Yahoo — to focus on scaling and expanding its business model and global growth.

And while CEO and co-founder Kevin Hartz declined to say in an interview whether the move was Eventbrite’s first major step toward a possible IPO, he did underscore the need to gird the company’s management for future expansion.

Recently, the company said it had sold $1.5 billion in gross ticket sales since it was founded five years ago, with total tickets sold topping 100 million. Eventbrite said that it had sold $600 million of that in 2012 alone, hawking 36 million tickets in 179 countries for such events as San Francisco’s iconic Bay to Breakers footrace.

That kind of hypergrowth requires some more experienced management, “independent of any public offering process,” said Hartz.

“We had an opportunity to bring in a great operator to help us become a multi-category e-commerce marketplace,” he said. “Mark has deep experience in building marketplaces of buyers and sellers.”

Indeed. At eBay, Rubash had global purview over eBay finance, investor relations, accounting and more, while he ran Yahoo’s global finance for its paid search, display advertising and e-commerce units. He has also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and at companies such as HeartFlow, Rearden Commerce and Critical Path.

“It’s a real alignment of what I am passionate about, with a team I really enjoy,” said Rubash. “With the mass of transactions growing on a global basis at Eventbrite, it’s the kind of challenge that is really hard to resist.”

Eventbrite’s investors include Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures and Tenaya Capital, with about $80 million in funding raised since 2006.

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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