Jennifer Tejada is the CEO @ PagerDuty, the company that provides a real-time operations platform ensuring less downtime for your digital services. Prior to their IPO in 2019 PagerDuty raised funding from some of the best in the business including Accel, a16z, Baseline, Bessemer and Harrison Metal to name a few. As for Jennifer, prior to PagerDuty, she was CEO of Keynote Systems leading to their acquisition by Dynatrace. Before Keynote, Jennifer was Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Mincom, leading them to their acquisition by ABB. If that was not enough, Jennifer is also on the The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL). CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Jennifer made her way into the world of SaaS and came to be one of the leading enterprise CEOs today with PagerDuty? How does Jen advise graduates on joining a startup vs large incumbent? 2.) How does Jen analyse and evaluate her relationship to risk? What does Jen do to remove herself from her environment and make the clearest decisions? How has Jen's decision-making process changed? How does Jen encourage debate and free thought sharing internally? 3.) How does Jen think about the role of insecurity within leadership? What would Jen say are her biggest insecurities? How does Jen manage them and mitigate them today? What works? What does not? Why does Jen believe data is the key to overcoming insecurities? 4.) What have been Jen's biggest lessons on what successful board management looks like? What separates good vs great board members? How can CEO's structure their board in an optimal way? What do they need? What do they not need? How does scale change this? 5.) How does Jen think her style of leadership has changed over the years? What have been Jen's lessons on what it takes to both acquire and retain the very best execs? Where do many go wrong here? Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: Jennifer’s Fave Book: Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.
Not long after landing at PagerDuty in 2016, Jennifer Tejada embarked on that harrowing rite of passage for CEOs of fortunate young startups: the pursuit of an IPO. Tejada raised a $90 million Series D round in late 2018, and saw PagerDuty go public on April 11, 2019. Her path to that point, she observes, was anything but linear. She tells the story of how a very “average” University of Michigan grad ended up becoming the CEO of a public SaaS company, and describes how gritty perseverance, some fortunate early leadership opportunities, and a passion for understanding and embracing different perspectives drove her career forward. She offers strategies that aspiring leaders can employ to challenge themselves and build tenacity while creating diverse, high-performing teams.
Our guest for today is the CEO of the newly public, enterprise technology company PagerDuty, none other than Jennifer Tejada.
This episode is the second part of the two-part series on IPO. Jennifer shares with us today how it is like to go public. This is a celebration of entrepreneurship and you’ll have fun listening to this long-free-form conversation.
Jennifer had a legendary career in Silicon Valley. Various media outlets featured Jennifer due to the recent IPO of PagerDuty, a leading platform for real-time operations.
In a moment of victory, what Christopher calls as “a celebration of entrepreneurship,” Jennifer recounts to Christopher the joys and pains on transitioning from being private to becoming public.
“I enjoyed the process of being forced to refine our story and our value proposition for retail investors and laypeople. I think its really helpful for the business to go through that exercise.” - Jennifer Tejada
Jennifer shares that there was not much significant change in terms of their monthly operations. In fact, she perceives the preparation to go public as running two-jobs and she and her CFO vowed to make the most out of it.
“It's very hard to describe the intrinsic rewards of looking down from the podium of NYSE at a group of people and just seeing this, sort of wonderment in their faces. They just can't believe, little old us got here, and that is one of the most rewarding moments of my career.” Jennifer Tejada
Jennifer also professed her admiration with her employees who went through this significant milestone with her.
“I don't think there's enough of said or honor pay to the folks that bet their careers early on and take pay cuts and take on option risks, to see a company through multiple investment cycle and growth cycles and ups and downs.” - Jennifer Tejada
Jennifer describes IPO as a big-day-coming-out-party-to-the-world. Further, she mentions that one of the reasons PagerDuty went public is to extend its reach, to tap an enormous market opportunity. She believes being under the radar does not serve that big mission.
“We serve the enterprise market and these enterprises are members of NYSE. They are traded in the NASDAQ. They expect the level of transparency around our performance and how our capitals are being spent and the long term viability of our businesses.” - Jennifer Tejada
Likewise, going public can help create brand awareness and credibility because the company has to go through a lot of processes that will serve public market investors.
“In my view, that rigor, and extra scrutiny is good for business. Hiding away in the private market just for the sake of staying away from that scrutiny is not a good thing because you can't survive with poor habits for a long period of time.” - Jennifer Tejada
To hear more about the Enterprise Tech Category Queen Jennifer Tejada, download and listen to the episode.
Jennifer Tejada is the CEO and Chairperson of PagerDuty (NYSE: PD), a leading platform for real-time operations.
She is a veteran software industry executive and business leader with over 25 years of experience, spanning mass consumer products to disruptive cloud and software solutions.
Jennifer has a successful track record in product innovation, optimizing operations and scaling public and private enterprise technology companies.
PagerDuty went through a strong IPO in April 2019 through her leadership.
Prior to her role at PagerDuty, Jennifer was the CEO of Keynote Systems where she led the company to strong profitable growth before its acquisition by Dynatrace in 2015.
Before Keynote, Jennifer was Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at the enterprise software company Mincom leading its global strategy up to its acquisition in late 2011 by ABB.
She has also held senior positions at Procter & Gamble and i2 Technologies (acquired by JDA Software).
Jennifer currently serves as a board member of The Estée Lauder Companies I...
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