Slack Technologies Inc. has switched up its c-suite with a new chief product officer as the workplace messaging startup prepares for a possible public listing this year.

After almost four years with the company, April Underwood is leaving Slack to pursue her own investing venture, she announced in a blog post Thursday. The San Francisco-based company hired Tamar Yehoshua to fill the role, Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield said in a separate post. Yehoshua spent more than eight years at Google and most recently served as a vice president overseeing several product and engineering teams, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Yehoshua "has an unparalleled depth of technical knowledge for a product leader and has worked at levels of scale and complexity that few others have seen," Butterfield said. "At the same time, she shares our vision, values, and deep commitment to customers."

The San Francisco-based firm intends to sell its shares to bidders in a direct listing, rather than a traditional initial public offering, a person familiar told Bloomberg earlier this month. The share sale, which might take place toward mid-year, could value Slack at more than US$7 billion, according to the person.