Citrix Systems Inc. Appoints New CFO, an SAP Veteran

Citrix Systems Inc. Appoints New CFO, an SAP Veteran

Citrix Systems Inc. is an American software multinational company that delivers digital workspace, networking and security, and analytics technologies. Established in 1989, today, Citrix has over 100 million users across 400,000 organization, including 99% of the Fortune 500.

Citrix Systems Inc. appointed the SAP veteran Arlen Shenkman to be the new Chief Finance Officer as the company transition towards a more cloud- and subscription-based business model. His new role takes effect on September 9, replacing the interim finance chief Jessica Soisson. Soisson had taken over after former CFO Andrew Del Matto who resigned in April. 

Shenkman brings with him 15 years of work experience from the ERP software giant SAP. As former SAP’s global head of development and ecosystems, his most recent role, he was responsible for developing new business models, fostering strategic partnerships and overseeing investments as well as mergers and acquisitions. From 2015 to 2017, he also served as CFO of SAP North America, the company’s biggest business unit.

The new finance chief’s appointment is critical as Cirtrix, one of the biggest providers of digital workspace platforms and applications allowing remote access to company servers, compete with major players such as Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

What awaits the new Citrix CFO?

Brad Reback, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., commented:

“The big question is how Citrix is retaining its relevance. There is a multitude of ways to access corporate applications remotely today.”

Managing Director Daniel Ives at Wedbush Securities Inc. also shared:

 “Ultimately, this is a company that has growth challenges as more enterprise spending is moving to the cloud.”

Citrix is increasing its revenue from recurring subscriptions as shown in the June 30 quarter-end performance, wherein subscription orders accounted for 62% of all new bookings, up from 42% in the prior-year period. Though this growth figure is commendable as the company transitions to cloud, drop in the net income in the second quarter poses a greater challenge to Shenkman. From $106.8 million in the year-earlier period, it went down to $93.5 million.

According to Ives, Shenkman’s role as the finance chief is not only focused on the Citrix’s profitability but also is also integral in leading the company towards new revenue streams.

Dan Romanoff, an analyst at Morningstar Inc., expressed his confidence in Shenkman:

“He led part of the cloud transition at SAP, and should be well-positioned to lead the transformation at Citrix.”

It has to be noted that SAP has been expanding its cloud-computing business to offset the decline in its core software division.

Citrix’s President and Chief Executive David Henshall said in a statement:

 “His success in driving accelerated growth through a shift to a subscription-based model, and in accelerating business outcomes through M&A, greatly bolsters our seasoned leadership team.”

Analysts said that Henshall will be working closely with Shenkman having the extensive finance expertise as Citrix’s CFO from 2003 to 2017.

In the meantime, Soisson remains to be the interim finance chief and continue in her role as corporate controller and chief accounting officer.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, as Citrix said in a filing with regulators, the new CFO is entitled to an initial base salary of $575,000 and cash compensation of up to 100% of his base salary. Shenkman will also receive a signing bonus of $500,000, payable after 180 days with the company, and restricted stock units valued at $6 million, which will vest in annual installments over three years.

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