Alfresco Appoints New CEO To Lead It Towards NASDAQ Listing

Former president of SucessFactors Doug Dennerline will replace co-founder John Powell

Alfresco, widely considered to be the world’s second most successful open source company after Red Hat, has appointed a new CEO, Doug Dennerline, to replace co-founder John Powell and lead it towards the long-rumoured Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Dennerline is the former president of SuccessFactors, a cloud-based human resource management company that merged with SAP last year in a $3.4 billion deal. A Silicon Valley veteran with over 25 years of experience, he has previously held positions at Salesforce, Cisco, Skype, 3Com and HP. “He has certainly got the expertise we are looking for”, told TechWeekEurope co-founder and CTO of Alfresco John Newton.

With Dennerline on board, the company could file for an IPO later this year.

Tactical move

Alfresco has just released the financial results for the third quarter of 2012, showing six straight years of revenue growth. In three months, it has managed to sign several contracts worth over a million dollars each, all of them in the US. The company doesn’t plan to abandon Europe, but it certainly wants to expand its presence in San Francisco in 2013.

John Newton, CTO and Chairman of Alfresco“We have made the decision pretty early on, that we’re going to go public on NASDAQ,” told us Newton. “We’ve been running our operations from the UK for as long as we possibly can, but we believe that we need more of a presence in the US, particularly in the Bay Area. It’s important to be close to the capital markets, investors and analysts.”

Even though Alfresco is headquartered in Maidenhead, over half of its clients are located in the US, so the move makes perfect sense. The two co-founders of the company will remain in the UK, in a move that is sure to result in a lot of virtual meetings.

Newton described the London Stock Exchange as “complicated to navigate” for a small business, and said the company has better financial prospects in the US. However, he hinted that Alfresco could invest into London’s Tech City. “There are a lot of great User Interface developers, web designers over there. We might establish a presence in the east of London.”

Since the company chose a US stock exchange, it required a CEO with the knowledge of the US market. “We just felt that it’s really important for the CEO to be close to those markets, spend a lot of time with investors, and that’s not something John Powell wanted to do,” told us Newton. “John is based in the UK, and he intends to stay here. We decided that the best thing for the company is to bring on a US-based CEO.”

Dennerline has worked in the Software-as-a-Service space before, and according to US-born Newton, he has “the right temperament to be able to work with British people”.

The company doesn’t set the date for the IPO just yet. “We want to give Doug a chance to settle in, make his mark on the company,” said Newton. However, with recent easing of filing requirements on NASDAQ and the ever-so-stable performance of the company, he wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Alfresco could go public in 2013.

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