In a possible signal that it is moving closer toward an IPO, Dropbox has hired former Motorola Mobility CFO Vanessa Wittman as its finance chief, replacing Sujay Jaswa.
Wittman, 47, has extensive experience at public companies whereas Jaswa, who took over as Dropbox CFO a year ago, came from a venture capital background. Dropbox’s market valuation rose to $10 billion last year after it raised about $350 million in venture money.
“There are very few companies that have the potential to completely shape the way we interact with technology on a daily basis,” Wittman said in a statement. “This is what has attracted me to Dropbox.”
USA Today suggested her hiring might also be part of an effort to change the culture at Dropbox, which has been one of the hottest pre-IPO tech companies but has “earned a less savory reputation as a boy’s club.”
Women account for about a third of the Dropbox workforce and nearly 50% of non-technical positions. But in technical positions they account for only 12.8% of the headcount.
“After four wild years and things at Dropbox in great shape, Sujay decided to return to the world of investing, and together we found an amazing leader in Vanessa,” company CEO Drew Houston said in a blog post.
In addition to her time in charge of finance at Google’s Motorola unit, Wittman has been CFO of publicly-traded consultancy Marsh & McLennan and held top posts at Microsoft and Morgan Stanley. Another former Motorola Mobility executive, Dennis Woodside, is chief operating officer at Dropbox.
Wittman, who will join Dropbox next month, “will surely face a lot of questions about when Dropbox is going public,” Re/code predicted, adding that most observers do not expect an IPO until 2016.
Dropbox’s smaller rival Box went public in January, raising $175 million. Its stock price is now up about 50% on the offering price.
Jaswa will be returning to his investing career. “He built our business teams from scratch, raised more than a billion dollars, and hired some of our strongest leaders,” Houston said.