Lithium Technologies Inc., a maker of social-media marketing software, hired former DemandTec Inc. executive Mark Culhane as chief financial officer as the company prepares for an initial public offering.
Culhane, who previously held the CFO position at three public companies, takes over the role immediately, Lithium Chief Executive Officer Rob Tarkoff said in an interview. He’s replacing Carlton Baab, who’s leaving the company after more than two years on the job.
Lithium develops software used by companies to communicate with their clients and track social networks for what customers are saying about their products and services. Its competitors include Web-based software maker Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM:US) and Jive Software Inc. (JIVE:US), which first sold shares to the public a year ago. Lithium hasn’t decided when it will hold its IPO and may first raise another round of financing from private investors, Tarkoff said.
“We’re thinking about how to position the company for long-term growth and eventually accessing public markets,” Tarkoff said. “Bringing Mark in now indicates this is something I want to get the company ready for.”
Culhane, 52, spent more than a decade at DemandTec and stayed on briefly after International Business Machines Corp. (IBM:US)purchased (IBM:US) the analytics company for about $440 million in February. Before that he managed finance at Web software provider IManage Inc. following six years at cancer drug maker SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SCLN:US) He’s a graduate of the University of South Dakota and worked for 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC after college.
Tarkoff said the search process for a CFO started in the third quarter. Lithium was looking for an executive who had experience with both late-stage private companies and public companies, he said.
In January Lithium raised $53.4 million in venture funding, led by New Enterprise Associates and SAP AG (SAP)’s venture arm. The capital was for investments in sales and marketing, geographic expansion and hiring engineers. While Tarkoff declined to comment on the number of employees, he said at the time of the fundraising that the company planned to double staffing this year to 400.
Lithium, started in 2001, was run by co-founder Lyle Fong until August 2011, when Tarkoff succeeded him as CEO. Tarkoff joined from Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE:US), where he was a senior vice president and ran the digital enterprise business.
Lithium’s current headquarters is in Emeryville, California, and it will be moving to a new space in San Francisco in the first half of 2013, Tarkoff said.
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