Jive CEO Tony Zingale is finally announcing the results of a big project he’s been working on since he took over the company in 2010. It’s not an acquisition or a product release: It’s a massive upgrade to Jive’s board of directors.
Joining the board are McAfee’s outgoing chairman Charles Robel, McAfee CEO (now at Intel) Dave DeWalt, Facebook’s vice president of technical operations Jonathan Heiliger and Google’s vice president of product management Sundar Pichai.
Beyond the titles, it’s an impressive array of skills. Robel has served on the audit committees of several public companies. DeWalt has been the CEO of both McAfee and Documentum selling both for a nice premium. Heiliger is responsible for delivering Facebook to 650 million users out of a cloud environment. And Pichai was in charge of the Chrome OS and Chrome Browser, amid other products at Google. Each of them also straddle the line between enterprise and consumer experience.
In one swoop Jive ups its depth around corporate finance, strategic operations, scale and technology and product vision. These four join Zingale– whose already been a public company CEO twice and served on six public company boards– and Kleiner’s Ted Schlein and Sequoia’s Jim Goetz among others on the packed board.
That is a board designed to make the company better, yes. But it’s also a board that sends two messages: We’re serious about building the next big enterprise software company, and we were serious when we said we were going to go public in 2011.
While Zingale knew Robel and DeWalt well, recruiting all four of them has taken some work. “I could have easily chosen the route of picking dusty old executives sitting around doing nothing, but that’s not the case here,” he says, brushing my IPO speculation aside without comment like a good private company CEO planning to file. “I think companies require an unfair advantage of this kind of expertise to drive technology decisions, governance decisions and financial decisions as we pursue more M&A and make strategic decisions.”
That’s right, he said M&A. Jive bought Filtrbox early last year and apparently more deals are on the horizon. “Watch this space,” Zingale said. “A couple of things are cooking.”