Ancestry CEO steps down, delays IPO

Pondering Snap's IPO over laser tag as well as also paintball

Public trading may not be part of Ancestry’s DNA.

The longtime CEO of Ancestry just stepped down, as well as also the company has delayed plans for an IPO.

Ancestry, which owns a host of genealogical as well as also historical records websites as well as genetic testing kit Ancestry DNA, said its CEO for 12 years, Tim Sullivan, will transition to chairman of the company’s board on October 1.

In June, the company announced This specific had confidentially submitted paperwork to go public, nevertheless those plans are at This specific point halted.

The company said This specific “will continue to evaluate the timing for the proposed offering.”

“The last 12 years at Ancestry have been a joy for me, nevertheless I believe This specific’s the perfect time to find the right person to lead the company going forward,” said Sullivan in an announcement on Tuesday.

Chief Financial Officer as well as also COO Howard Hochhauser will act as interim CEO. The company, which has 1,400 employees globally, will search for a permanent replacement.

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The company is actually under “no pressure” to go public, an Ancestry.com spokesperson told CNN Tech. “Tim saw the additional time as the right window to bring in a brand new CEO prior to any potential IPO.”

Raising some eyebrows, Sullivan said in a statement that will while Ancestry’s revenue grew by 40% inside the second quarter, full year growth would certainly be closer to 30%. Sullivan called the company’s financial performance “strong,” noting that will the company’s subscriber growth is actually at a four year high.” The business “has some seasonal variability,” the company spokesperson added.

“While one would certainly desire [Sullivan] is actually setting conservative expectations This specific could indicate they are seeing slowing growth which might be impacting the timing of their IPO as well as also leadership decision,” said Leslie Pfrang, an IPO expert at Class V Group. “Perhaps boards as well as also investment banks are being more cautious after Snapchat (SNAP (SNAP)) as well as also Blue Apron (APRN (APRN)) debacles.”

Or, Pfrang suggests, Sullivan may simply want to take a backseat as well as also watch the ride. “He could … have decided being chairman versus CEO might be a less stressful role,” she said.

After all, Sullivan knows what This specific means to be CEO of a public company. Ancestry.com went public in 2009 before This specific was purchased by Permira, a European private equity firm, for $1.6 billion.

Sullivan, as well as also Hochhauser maintained a majority of their equity stakes as part of the deal. Affiliates of Spectrum Equity, which owned approximately 30% of Ancestry.com’s stock, also remained investors.

CNNMoney (brand new York) First published September 12, 2017: 3:29 PM ET

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