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Confluent Hires Google Cloud CFO Tomlinson; Expected IPO Looms

‘Steffan (Tomlinson) has twice helped grow organizations through an IPO with valuations increasing well over 10 times,’ Confluent CEO Jay Kreps says.

Steffan Tomlinson, the former chief financial officer and vice president of Google Cloud and technical infrastructure, has landed the CFO position at Confluent, an enterprise event streaming platform provider.

Tomlinson, who worked at Google Cloud for a year and three months, joins the Mountain View, Calif.-based Confluent as the startup prepares for an expected initial public offering (IPO) after raising a $250 million series E funding round in April, led by Coatue Management, that gave it a $4.5 billion valuation.

Prior to Google Cloud, Tomlinson was CFO at Palo Alto Networks, where he helped lead its 2012 IPO and grow its revenue from $200 million to a $2.3 billion run rate. Tomlinson also helped take public Aruba Networks in 2007 while serving as CFO there.

“What I look for in a company is the journey they’re on,” Tomlinson said in an interview with CNBC. “Clearly, Confluent is a late-stage, privately held company. We look at an IPO as one step along the journey of creating value and having a durable growth model.”

Google Cloud did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former Confluent CFO Cheryl Dalrymple, who had double duty as the company’s chief people officer for the last 12 months, now will focus on that latter role and as head of corporate development. Confluent also announced that former MuleSoft CEO Greg Schott is now a member of its board of directors.

The original creators of Apache Kafka, including CEO Jay Kreps, founded Confluent in 2014 and built its platform on the open-source messaging system.

“Event streaming has become a foundational part of the modern software stack, but it remains too complex for many organizations to use pervasively within their businesses,” Kreps said in a statement. “That’s the premise behind Project Metamorphosis (Confluent’s next-generation event streaming platform) and gets to the core of why we think Greg and Steffan are great fits for Confluent. They both have extensive experience scaling high-growth startups into large, cloud-first businesses that help their customers leverage complex technologies quickly and easily. For example, Steffan has twice helped grow organizations through an IPO with valuations increasing well over ten times.”

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