Yelp Inc. has brought in a tech-sector veteran to lead its finance department as it struggles with underwhelming sales and dropping profits.
The company named David Schwarzbach, a former Optimizely executive, as its CFO this week in its fourth-quarter earnings report. Schwarzbach replaces interim CFO James Miln, who will return to his previous role as vice president of financial planning and analysis. Miln had served as CFO since September.
The company has been without a permanent CFO since Lanny Baker left in mid-2019 to head finance at Eventbrite.
Schwarzbach is joining Yelp as it approaches a critical juncture in its struggle to monetize its site traffic, analysts told The Wall Street Journal. "This is going to put pressure on them to reconsider whether they need to partner with another company in this space," Aegis Capital analyst Victor Anthony said.
"With David’s appointment, we have a strong management team in place to continue the execution of our strategy to drive revenue growth and continued margin expansion," Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in the earnings release.
Schwarzbach’s experience scaling operations and overseeing analytics and e-commerce should be a major asset to Yelp, the company said.
Schwarzbach pioneered the growth of eBay’s North America marketplace business to more than $30 billion in gross merchandise volume, Yelp said in the release.
Schwarzbach most recently served as CFO-COO at Optimizely, which provides testing and personalization tools for websites, mobile apps and connected devices. Before that, he worked in finance roles at eBay, including as CFO of the North America marketplace, according to his LinkedIn profile.
"I am excited to step into the CFO role at Yelp to help the company continue executing its strategic plan, accelerate growth and deliver value to shareholders," Schwarzbach said in the press release. "I look forward to working with the entire Yelp team to build on the company’s momentum and strong business fundamentals."
Representatives for Yelp and for Schwarzbach declined to comment.