Business

ServiceNow hires former eBay and Bain & Co man John Donahoe as CEO

Current chief Frank Slootman steps aside in sudden but orderly transition

By Simon Sharwood

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ServiceNow has a new CEO: John Donahoe, formerly CEO of eBay and of Bain & Company, was appointed on Monday after the current holder of the positions, Frank Slootman, decided the time was right to make the transition.

The company is positioning this as a prudent transition motivated by a desire for planned and smooth renewal. That sentiment is supportable inasmuch as Slootman's served six years in the big chair during which time the company's share price has all-but-quadrupled and annual revenues went from US$243m to $1.39bn. But losses have also piled up on Slootman's watch, with a hefty $450m deficit recorded fir FY 2016.

The growth in the company's share price suggests investors aren't too worried about those losses as ServiceNow is held to be in the rapid growth phase of its life.

Donahoe is also currently the chair of PayPal and sits on the boards of Nike and Intel. Slootman's said that he didn't think it would be long before Donahoe was offered a CEO gig elsewhere, so ServiceNow struck first in order to get its hands on proven talent to facilitate a leadership transition.

The incoming CEO gets to realise Slootman's strategy of moving ServiceNow and its workflow automation tools out of the IT ghetto and into all manner of other markets where CEOs, not CIOs, call the shots. ServiceNow's canned statement on the appointment says Donahoe's experience building eBay's enterprise business is valuable experience it believes will advance its ambitions.

Slootman will stick around as chair for the foreseeable future, once Donahoe steps into the CEO's chair on April 3rd. ®

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