IPOs

Fitbit CFO’s Heart Is Pumping

At one point on Thursday morning, as his company was proceeding through its initial public offering, Bill Zerella’s heart rate was up to 128, or ab...
David KatzAugust 15, 2018
Fitbit CFO’s Heart Is Pumping

At one point on Thursday morning, as his company was proceeding through its initial public offering, Bill Zerella’s heart rate was up to 128, or about the rate he experiences when he’s on the treadmill.

Zerella, the 58-year-old CFO of Fitbit, knew that because, like practically everyone at the company, he was wearing one of the wristband activity trackers it makes. He uses the device to see whether he’s getting enough activity during his working day, to monitor his heart rate while doing intense exercise, and to measure sleep — “which I haven’t been getting much of by the way,” he told CFO.

As of little after noon, however, with the company’s shares going for about $30 a pop, or about $10 above the rate the company was charging for them at the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (which was rung by Fitbit representatives), Zerella’s heart rate was down to 86.

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In any event, the finance chief was handling the major question of the day with evident bullishness: How could Fitbit maintain its gangbusters revenue and earnings growth in the face of looming competition from the likes of Apple, Google, LG, Microsoft, and Samsung?