Parallels, known for its software that lets Windows run on Macs, has hired new finance and technology chiefs, aiming to boost the cloud-services side of its business and prepare for future growth, including a possible initial public offering and acquisitions.
The company’s new chief technology officer is Microsoft veteran Michael Toutonghi, who is leaving his role as a Microsoft technical fellow to take the Parallels job. The new chief financial officer is David Arkley, who was most recently in a finance position with publicly traded energy and water utility Itron Inc.
In addition, Parallels named a new general manager for Europe and North Africa, Jesper Frederiksen, to oversee its sales in those parts of the world.
“It’s really a step in the process of getting ready to play on a different scale … to really grow the business at a faster clip,” said Birger Steen, the Parallels CEO, in an interview this week.
Parallels is headquartered south of Seattle in Renton, Wash., with a substantial presence in Russia. The privately held company says it generates more than $100 million in annual revenue and has more than 800 employees worldwide. Steen, also a Microsoft veteran, joined Parallels in 2010 as president and became CEO earlier this year.
The company in the past has acknowledged that it’s headed for an IPO, and Steen said Arkley’s experience with publicly held, acquisitive companies is important because of Parallels’ aspirations in those areas. However, Steen declined to give a possible timeframe for becoming a public company.
“We’re profitable, we’re growing fast, we don’t actually need more capital,” Steen said. “We’re looking at the financial markets, and we’re looking at different ways to potentially also fund acquisitive growth when that kind of opportunity occurs. But at the moment there’s really nothing that compels us to go out and get more money. But of course, there are advantages also to having a wider capital structure. So, in due course.”
Toutonghi has been one of 22 technical fellows at Microsoft, most recently leading the company’s Advertising Platform Architecture Team. His claims to fame include leading development on the Windows 95 kernel team during his first stint at the company. After leaving Microsoft in 2003, he founded Vizrea, which became WebFives and was later acquired by Microsoft, bringing him back to the Redmond company.
His role at Parallels will focus in particular on the company’s Parallels Automation service, which hosting and cloud service providers use to provide cloud-based applications such as email, Internet phone calling and messaging to small and medium-sized businesses. That part of the business represents about 2/3 of Parallels’ revenue, and the company’s desktop virtualization business represents the remaining 1/3. Steen said both sides of the business are growing “in the 30 percent range.”
The CTO position had been vacant. Previous CFO Peter Bauert is expected to take another position.