He writes: Growing up in a family business, I have always had many questions. My intention has always been to dive deeper and get below the surface, to learn from the best and surround myself with like-minded people. I recently had the rare opportunity to sit down with someone very special. Ms. Kelly Steckelberg is the CFO of Zoom.
Generification is the use of specific brand names of products as names for the products in general.
Kleenex is to tissue what Zoom is to video conferencing.
Ms. Steckelberg started by getting her master’s degree in Accounting at the University of Texas. After college, she started her career in public accounting and took no time moving up the ladder. She worked at Web-X, where she met her future CEO at ZOOM, Eric Yuan. After Web-X, she then moved to hold C Positions at Zoosk and obtained the CEO position—leaving Zoosk to join Eric Yuan when he decided to start with a clean slate and create Zoom. Ms. Steckelberg stepped in at Zoom as CFO, and the rest is history.
She said about her decision to join Zoom back in 2017, “I had worked at WebEx previously, so I was very familiar with this space, but hadn’t specifically used Zoom. I was so impressed when I saw how much better the Zoom product experience was! It was much more intuitive, easy to use and reliable. I also knew Eric and had a great deal of respect for him, so the combination of the product and Eric’s leadership were what drew me to Zoom. Having been a CEO, has certainly made me a better CFO.”
She could not have projected the pandemic or the growth of video conferencing when she made the decision to work for Zoom. It posted one of the most impressive growth records during the Covid pandemic with revenue growth of 169% from the previous year.
“We went from 10 million daily meeting participants in Dec of 2019 to over 300 million daily meeting participants in April of 2020,” said Ms. Steckelberg. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we did everything we could to ensure that everyone who needed Zoom had access to it. Our employees and partners were amazing, working non-stop for months to sell and provision the product, to expand the capacity in our data centers, and to ensure our customers were supported. It was an amazing learning experience that I am grateful to have been a part of.”
Ms. Steckelberg was named CFO of the Year 2020 by CFO Dive Magazine and 2021 Public Company CFO of the Year by Forbes, She has been called the Bay Area’s Most Influential Woman by the San Francisco Business Times, twice and was named among the Silicon Valley Women of Influence by Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Before we wrapped up our session, Ms. Steckelberg explained that Zoom has now transitioned from being the meetings app that everyone knows and loves, to a full communications platform with Zoom Meeting, Zoom Team Chat, Zoom Phone, Zoom Events, Zoom Contact Center and more. “Everything we do at Zoom is focused on delivering happiness to our customers and our employees. This, combined with our speed of innovation, I believe, is what makes customers love Zoom!”