As It Aims to Go Public, Seismic Taps Former ServiceNow Exec as CFO

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But after about two years, he and his wife—also a San Diego native—decided to return.

Since then he has held roles with a number of small startups. Most recently he was vice president of finance at Agentology, a VC-backed company that offers real estate agents lead qualification and referral services. He has never been a CFO.

Winter, however, says he decided to bet on McCauley, who has seen an incredibly successful launch from the inside, rather than a candidate who may have led a less successful offering.

“For me, it was more important to find someone who knew what a really great (finance) organization looked like and wanted to build a great organization, and frankly, if they’re going to make their name and reputation, wanted to do it here,” Winter said. “Maybe we’re going to do an IPO, maybe we’re not—I want someone who wants to build a great company, [who says] ‘I’ve seen a great finance team person, and I want to build one that’s just a little bit better.’”

It’s not the first time Winter, a serial entrepreneur, has taken the less traditional route as he’s built his latest business. Previously, he says, he’s turned down funds from financiers who promised to bankroll Seismic’s next stage of growth—as long as he moved the company to the Bay Area. (This isn’t an unusual anecdote to hear from San Diego-based founders, but it’s typically followed with an announcement that the company is, indeed, moving.)

A booster for the local tech ecosystem, Winter has found a kindred spirit of sorts in McCauley, who’s about as San Diegan as they come.

Seismic’s new CFO grew up on Coronado Island, earned his undergraduate accounting degree at the University of San Diego, and his master’s at San Diego State University.

At Seismic, Winter has tasked McCauley with getting the firm—which has 500-odd employees across offices in San Diego, Boston, Chicago, New York, Durham, NC, Sydney, Melbourne, and London—IPO-ready by the end of 2019.

Winter started the company in 2010 in the North County coastal town of Solana Beach with Marc Romano, Ed Calnan, and Fred Xie. (Today the co-founders are the company’s chief technology officer, president, and vice president of engineering, respectively.) … Next Page »

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Sarah de Crescenzo is an Xconomy editor based in San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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