Jeremy Roche, the founding CEO of FinancialForce, is stepping down, the company announced on Friday.
Roche will be replaced by Salesforce’s former platform boss, Tod Nielsen, who was previously CEO of Heroku and COO of VMware as well. Roche will continue to serve a special advisor to the management team.
The leadership change comes just 18 months after FinancialForce raised $110 million in funding. At the time, FinancialForce was valued at roughly $530 million, according to Pitchbook. The 7-year-old startup has raised $220 million in funding so far.
FinancialForce’s software, built on top of Salesforce’s platform, takes care of things like accounting, forecasting, and supply chain management.
In an interview with Business Insider, Nielsen said the management shakeup isn’t due to any sort of problem at FinancialForce. Rather, it was Roche who requested the change.
“Jeremy has been great at laying the foundation, building the company up to this point. But he wasn’t necessarily desiring to take it to the next level so he handed the baton to me,” Nielsen said.
That’s a big change of heart for Roche, who told CNBC just three months ago that his goal was to build the “next SAP or Oracle.” Instead, Roche will be taking an executive position at Unit 4, a software maker that also previously invested in FinancialForce, the company said.
Nielsen said FinancialForce’s business is strong, with annual revenue growing at a 40% clip. The company is “nearing” $100 million in annual revenue, although he didn’t give a specific time frame for when it would happen.
Nielsen seems to have the right mix of experience to take FinancialForce to the next level. He spent 12 years at Microsoft, before becoming CEO of Borland Software. He’s also held executive jobs at Oracle and BEA Systems, in addition to the c-level positions at Salesforce and VMware.
It often sends the wrong signal when the founding CEO suddenly steps down from any company. But Nielsen pointed out it’s not so rare. Tech companies Tenable and Workfront, each with $303 million and $95 million in funding, respectively, have pulled off similar moves in recent months.
In any case, companies require a different types of management as they grow, and the CEO change is simply a sign that FinancialForce is growing at a robust pace, Nielsen said.
“Companies evolve in our industry. There are folks that are really awesome from zero to $100 million in revenue, but it requires a different set of focus and skill set as they go from $100 million to $1 billion and beyond,” he said.
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