- CFO Charles "Lanny" Baker is ready to use his "line-item veto" to help Eventbrite find its footing after a rocky fourth quarter, he told The Wall Street Journal.
- The ticketing company went public in 2018 and Baker, who came on board from Yelp in September, is tasked with helping the company navigate in a post-IPO environment. Among his main tasks: helping to create value out of Ticketfly, which Eventbrite acquired in 2017 and is still struggling to integrate.
- Baker brings considerable experience to the task: prior to Yelp, he was CEO of online real-estate brokerage company ZipRealty Inc., where he honed specific experience building out the sales force.
At post-IPO Eventbrite, Baker is expected to bring "simplicity and focus" to the company’s finances as it grapples with underwhelming stock performance, WSJ said.
The company acquired ticket distribution company Ticketfly in 2017, and has since struggled to maintain the smaller company’s customer base. In a November earnings call, Baker acknowledged that switching platforms [from Eventbrite to Ticketfly] would be a "big change for customers."
In 2018, Ticketfly suffered a large data breach, which delayed integration into Eventbrite and concerned investors, WSJ said. Shares have been underperforming for nearly a year now, putting Baker in the position of earning back shareholder trust and strengthening company credibility.
Baker is taking a straightforward approach to cost-benefit analysis going forward, telling WSJ that he intends to "[take] stock of activities and [use] the CFO’s line-item veto to say what’s not going to drive our long-term growth."
Baker’s hectic few months at Eventbrite follow a larger pattern among CFOs of newly public companies — they must serve as both the steady right hand to the CEO as company operations evolve, while continuing to oversee finance, planning and analysis on a much larger scale. In order to be successful, Baker must use his careful forethought and prioritizing to balance each of these expectations equally.
Representatives for Eventbrite did not immediately respond to requests for comment.