(Bloomberg) -- Plaid Inc. named Cloudflare Inc.’s Jen Taylor as its first president as the financial-technology company continues to diversify its products and readies itself for a public listing.
Taylor was most recently chief product officer at Cloudflare and earlier had stints at Salesforce Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc., according to a memo to staff. Her hiring comes just months after Plaid installed its first chief financial officer.
Plaid got its start connecting consumers’ bank accounts to outside fintech apps and services and these days one in three people with a US bank account use the company’s services. More recently, though, the firm has expanded into new products focused on lending, payments and reducing fraud.
“The demand for these new products has been even greater than we anticipated,” Chief Executive Officer Zach Perret said in a memo to staff seen by Bloomberg. “Jen’s experience scaling products to meet increasing customer demand will be invaluable.”
Plaid was last valued at $13.4 billion when it raised money in 2021, a few months after it scrapped its plans to sell itself to the payments giant Visa Inc. That deal had faced antitrust scrutiny from the US Justice Department.
The 2021 fundraising established Plaid as one of the most valuable fintechs on the planet. More recently, the company has been building out its executive ranks — a move that is often seen as a precursor to going public — with Perret adding Eric Hart as CFO and Brian Dammeir as head of Europe in the final months of last year.
With Taylor, Plaid is getting an executive who oversaw Cloudflare’s product teams before, during and after the technology giant’s initial public offering in 2019. The company, which provides internet infrastructure services to around 20% of the web, has seen its stock price more than quadruple since its public debut.
Going public “requires the organization to really scale up and demonstrate internally the rigor that you need for that type of communication with the public markets and that kind of communication with the broader investment community,” Taylor said in an interview. “It sounds like much of that work is already sort of underway.”
In her role new role, Taylor said she will ultimately be focusing on the research and development of new products at Plaid and ensuring the company has plans in place to entice new and existing customers to adopt those products.
“The thing that I have most enjoyed in my career is the opportunity to work with companies that have built networks and competitive moats,” Taylor said. “As Zach started talking me through what the company did and its founding around the network, light bulbs started going off for me as I drew the parallels to the other companies I’ve worked with.”
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