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The podcast featuring finance leaders driving change within their organizations.

Nov 29, 2020

When Drew Vollero arrived in the CFO office of Snap (formerly Snapchat) in 2015, the executives occupying the tech world’s traditional IPO talent bench no doubt raised a few eyebrows.

Having spent the previous 25 years inside the corporate corridors of Mattel, Inc., and PepsiCo, Vollero had a resume chock-full of strategic planning initiatives that any finance leader would covet. Still, he could not be counted among the familiar CFO all-stars known for their routine rotation into IPO-minded tech companies.

Of course, whatever buzz Vollero’s hiring may have stirred, Snap left no room for IPO skeptics, having earlier in 2015 hired Imran Khan, head of Internet investment banking at Credit Suisse, where he had recently led the IPO for Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

“Whenever we walked into a room together—on the road show or wherever—there were seven or eight people who knew Imran,” explains Vollero, who characterizes his pairing with Khan as “a one, two punch.”

“The founders knew that I had experience in building world-class teams, and they knew that I could hit the ground running,” comments Vollero, who adds that “the match really made sense” in light of the tight time frame involved in Snap’s plans to go public.

During the 18 months in the lead-up to the IPO, Vollero initially committed to a 70-mile commute to Snap’s Venice, Calif., headquarters from his home of 30 years in Orange County—a daily trek that became more daunting as IPO action items began pressing down.     

Says Vollero: “I got an apartment up in Los Angeles, and I was there Sunday through Friday, moving the things that we had to get done.”

These days, Vollero has been working closer to home while occupying the CFO office at Allied Universal of Santa Ana, Calif.  Despite his shorter commute, Vollero says, his days are once again becoming populated with IPO action items, as the $8 billion privately held supplier of security and facilities begins eyeing the public markets.  

Comments the CFO and now IPO veteran: “We’re a founder-led company, just as Snap was founder-led—these companies tend to take on the personalities of the founder, and they drive hard.”  –Jack Sweeney  Signup for our Newsletter