Slack gets its first-ever CFO in what could be a big step toward going public

SlackAllen Shim was CEO Stewart Butterfield’s ‘right hand from the earliest day.’
  • Slack got its first chief financial officer ever in a possible big step in moving toward an IPO in 2018.
  • Allen Shim, employee number 20 at the 4-year-old startup, will take on the roll from his former post as SVP of finance and operations.
  • CEO Stewart Butterfield praised Shim as “a trusted advisor” and said this promotion positions the company “for scalable, long term success.”

Slack’s latest personnel move could be an indication that the $US5 billion startup could go public in 2018.

On Tuesday, the four-year-old productivity software company announced Allen Shim as its first ever chief financial offer. Among other duties, the CFO is usually the person tasked with managing the strict financial disclosure requirements at a company as it prepares to go public and after its initial public offering.

Shim, who joined Slack in 2014, was employee number 20 at the company, and was promoted from his role as its senior vice president of finance and operations.

In a blog post, CEO Stewart Butterfield called Shim “a trusted advisor” and his “right hand from the earliest day.”

“Slack is emerging as a different kind of SaaS company, and he knows our business better than anyone,” Butterfield said in the post. “Allen is guiding us toward the next phase of our growth, and I can’t think of a leader better suited to the opportunity at hand.”

While Butterfield praised his longtime colleague, he also dropped a few hints that this is something more significant for the company than just a promotion.

“Introducing the role of CFO is a natural evolution that levels up our capabilities and positions us for scalable, long term success,” Butterfield said. “These changes show in our results and our readiness to take advantage of the opportunity ahead.”

Slack’s most recent funding round in July valued the company at $US5 billion, making it one of the most valuable enterprise software startups in Silicon Valley. That means that all eyes are on Slack as it possibly prepares to make a splash on the public markets.

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