Despite swirling rumors about a potential IPO, RingCentral CEO Vlad Shmunis, agreed to have a beachside chat with us at the annual MaiTai kiteboarding event in Maui. Joining him in conversation was former Apple and Jawbone product manager Jason Fass.
The setting was ironic given the headline Michael Carney wrote about them in April: “RingCentral Looks to Turn the Beach into a Telecom IT Desk with its New Cloud Phone Platform”.
The big question MaiTai co-organizer Fass had for Shmunis was about how he’s managed to remain at the helm, as a potential IPO looms. It’s not a question of his ability or capability. Mark Zuckerberg aside, plenty of founders get shown the door once the company gets off the ground, making way for professional chief executives.
VCs aren’t always villains in this scenario. Frequently the best teams to scale a company simply aren’t the best teams to take them public. Shmunis has strong opinions about the considerations founders must make from day one to make sure they aren’t shown the door later on. If you’re just starting your company now, this is required viewing.
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