(Adds recent comments from Hootsuite CEO, adds Open Text declining to comment on executive departure, adds background)
By Euan Rocha and John Tilak
TORONTO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Hootsuite has tapped Open Text’s principal accounting officer Sujeet Kini as its chief financial officer, according to a source familiar with the matter, potentially moving the Canadian tech start-up a step closer toward listing.
Waterloo, Ontario-based Open Text disclosed in a regulatory document last week that Kini is leaving the company effective Oct. 16 and that he has accepted the CFO position at a social media company.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Kini is set to join Hootsuite, which is widely expected to go public some time next year.
Hootsuite declined to comment, and Kini did not respond to requests for comment sent via email and voicemail. A spokeswoman for Open Text declined to comment on Kini’s departure.
Vancouver-based Hootsuite, which sells companies and organizations software to manage their social media presence across multiple platforms, is widely regarded as being one of the most hotly anticipated Canadian tech IPOs in the offing. It would follow Ottawa-based Shopify Inc’s very successful initial public offering in May.
Those closely following Hootsuite have noted that the start-up would need to hire a chief financial officer with significant public markets experience in order to begin moving toward a listing.
Kini has been with Open Text, one of the largest publicly-listed Canadian software companies, for over decade now and he would bring a wealth of public markets experience to Hootsuite.
Hootsuite’s Chief Executive Ryan Holmes has said investor enthusiasm for Shopify’s launch has bolstered Hootsuite’s IPO plans.
“We’re building a company that has the fundamentals of a public company, because as you get to a larger stage you need to have systems in place,” said Holmes at a conference in Vancouver in June. “It (an IPO) is something that we are thinking about.”
Technology companies are supplanting commodity players as the driver of Canadian IPOs this year, as global optimism around tech startups has boosted valuations.
The S&P TSE Canadian Information Technology Index has risen 18.3 percent in the last 12 months, despite the fact that it still does not count high-flying Shopify as one of its constituents. Shopify’s own shares have nearly doubled in value since the company went public in May.
In contrast, the resource-heavy Canadian stock market has slumped on the pullback in commodity prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index has fallen more than 13 percent in the last 12 months. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Diane Craft)