IDG News Service (Boston Bureau) — Name: Mike Kleiman
Time with company: about 3.5 years
Education: bachelor of science in accounting from Montana State University and an executive MBA from Tulane University
Company headquarters: Santa Monica, California
Countries of operation: U.S., with some employees and consultants in Europe and Asia as well
Number of employees total: 170
Number of employees the CFO oversees: eight on finance, with more who report through him
CFO's areas of responsibility: CFO/COO, with responsibility for finance, HR, recruiting, IT, data-center operations, and involvement with the network infrastructure side, a big part of purchasing, and split responsibilities with the CEO for legal
About the company: Founded in 2006, EdgeCast offers a content delivery network that has been consistently rated as one of the world's fastest.
1. Where did you start in finance and what experiences led you to the job you have today?
I spent the first seven years as a CPA working for Arthur Andersen, focused in audit and consulting. It gave me great exposure to multiple industries and work environments serving a huge variety of clients. For someone who didn't really know what he wanted to do when he grew up, it was an excellent experience. I learned that I really enjoy the informal, faster pace of the young, high-growth, entrepreneurial companies. So I focused on serving these kind of companies at Andersen, helping them with their IPO filings, funding initiatives, audits, even operational consulting projects. I was with them for seven years -- it seems like that time just flew by.
My favorite client was a sporting goods company, Scott USA, based in Sun Valley, Idaho, which was a great place to hang out, and they also had a sizeable European operation. We were helping them file an IPO, but it failed due to weaknesses in its financial systems in Europe. That turned out to be a great opportunity for me because it ultimately led them to hire and move me to Switzerland to help fix it.
It was supposed to be one of these two- or three-year gigs, where we put systems in place and streamlined processes. It was a very challenging, but fantastic, learning experience that really stretched and forced me to grow up fast. I spent nearly five years living in Europe and we did some awesome work, deploying an SAP system across multiple companies, learning tons about international operations, restructuring the company, currency trading, M&A, integrations, learning to speak German. I went back to Europe recently and I actually still remembered how to speak it, even though I hadn't used it in quite a few years, so that was really cool.