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Dropbox fills out its leadership roster as it bounds toward a public offering

Condoleezza Rice, Dropbox's new board member.

Above: Condoleezza Rice, Dropbox's new board member.

File-sharing company Dropbox just made some big leadership announcements today, less than a month after competitor Box made the same move.

Dropbox said it had brought former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on its board. That’s a big get, on the heels of Box’s board appointment of Cisco executive Padmasree Warrior.

Dropbox also confirmed that it had promoted Sujay Jaswa to be chief financial officer. The Wall Street Journal and other outlets have reported that this had happened.

These appointments come as Dropbox is looking to make itself more legitimate, a company that can live on for years to come. Dropbox’s credit line exceeding $500 million points in that direction as the company aims to become publicly traded.

Meanwhile, the leadership appointments weren’t the only Dropbox moves today. The company also added business collaboration capabilities and brought its Mailbox app to Android and desktops.

Rice’s arrival at Dropbox has a nice ring to it when you consider the perspective of company chief executive Drew Houston. “When looking to grow our board, we sought out a leader who could help us expand our global footprint,” he wrote in a blog post on the news. Get it?

Rice’s board appointment also suggests the company understands the importance of gender diversity. That issue popped up at Dropbox a couple of months ago. What’s more, Rice’s selection for the board aligns Dropbox with other IPO-bound companies, like New Relic and Zendesk.

As for the company’s newly minted CFO, Houston noted that Jaswa was the company’s first business executive and enumerated Jaswa’s many contributions:

… [Jaswa] has created and led the business side of Dropbox since joining in 2010. He’s been responsible for managing our fundraising, driving key partnerships, and scaling the business teams to several hundred people globally. When we embarked on our search for a CFO, we were looking for someone to lead our finance function and also be our partner for the company’s most important decisions. Sujay has played that role since he joined, and we’re delighted to have him leading finance and corporate development moving forward.

Some people have been more critical of Jaswa’s appointment, pointing out that he’s not very experienced to hold such a prominent position at a pre-IPO company. The fact that Dropbox’s board has been so small and so highly influenced by founders Houston and Ferdowsi could explain the decision-making.

At least Dropbox is balancing out Jaswa’s appointment with a more seasoned hire in former Googler Dennis Woodside as its new chief operating officer. Woodside was previously president of the Americas and chief executive of Motorola Mobility.

It’s hard to say how much these moves could help Dropbox improve its financial situation or keep attention away from other file-sharing players, like Box, which could debut on public markets quite soon.

More information:

Dropbox is San Francisco-based tech company focused on making it easier for people to access and share their stuff. We strive to build a simple experience across desktops, browsers, smartphones, tablets, and more, while reliably proces... read more »

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