Qualtrics CFO David Faugno Shares IPO Lessons with MBA Students
Guest Speaker in CFO for Technology Industry Immersion course
A veteran financial executive, David Faugno has significant experience in taking companies public and in M&A activity when he was part of Cisco, AT&T and a leading Silicon Valley network security and storage startup. He spoke in Professor Ayako Yasuda’s CFO for Technology Industry Immersion course on January 5, 2018.
Faugno joined Qualtrics as CFO in November 2017. Qualtrics is a single system of record for all experience data, also called X-data™, allowing organizations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee and brand experiences—on one platform.
Drawing upon these experiences, Faugno discussed the amount of preparation needed to get a company to be ready for an IPO, the various parties involved in making an IPO happen, the practical difficulties navigating the process, and the constant pressure of keeping the company moving in the right direction while managing the IPO process.
He also showed how the CFO becomes the strategic partner of the CEO in making this important milestone happen. He also stressed the important relationship with the company board and the role of the CFO in ensuring the board of directors are in agreement with the direction of the company and the general outcomes of the IPO.
Finally, Faugno challenged the students to come up with solutions for a management problem he had to work through as he managed a company both pre- and post-IPO.
Students worked on the problem in small teams and presented their solutions to Faugno, who critiqued their solutions, offering reasons why some solutions work while others don’t. He then shared background information that would have made some of the students’ solutions very hard to implement, and then he presented the solution that was implemented by the company. The students had direct access to the key “actor” in this case study, rather than an observer, giving them insider insights and perspective.