George Shaheen, the man who left Webvan with one of – if not the best severance packages in Internet history, is making a comeback of sorts.
This time as a board member at Closedloop Solutions, a Redwood City, Calif.-based firm that specializes in Web-based applications for chief financial officers and the financial planning sector. The company’s board Tuesday approved Shaheen’s membership.
Also on Closedloop’s board are Chandran Sankaran, President and CEO of Closedloop; Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Karen Richardson, EVP & GM, E.piphany; Greg Sands, Managing Director, Sutter Hill Ventures and Jim Tolonen, COO and CFO, Snowball.com.
But were there any raised eyebrows when Shaheen’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate for the position?
“Not internal to our organization,” says Closedloop VP of Marketing Doug Barton. “The board looked at the body of George’s experience and his time at Webvan is neither viewed as positive or negative.”
Shaheen has got the experience, if not the moxie to guide high tech companies. In his more than 30 years in the industry, Shaheen once served as managing partner and CEO of Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture
. Since 1995, Shaheen has been a director of Siebel Systems
Shaheen is also a member of the board of trustees at Bradley University and the board of advisors for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
“George’s tenure at Accenture and Siebel, his wealth of industry knowledge, and the contacts he brings will be invaluable as we scale our company,” said Closedloop founder and CEO Chandran Sankaran. “George has deep personal knowledge of the internal workings of Fortune 500 companies, and of the systems and processes they need in order to cope with today’s high speed economy. I look forward to his guidance in helping us to continue building a company that delivers ground-breaking financial management capabilities to corporations in many industries.”
Most notably, however, Shaheen will be remembered as Webvan CEO, where his pension pays him $375,000 a year for life. The company also forgave a $6.7 million loan, which Shaheen took out to pay taxes on some 1.25 million shares of Webvan stock. All he had to do was return the shares – valued at the time at about $150,000.
Now with Shaheen’s guidance, Closedloop says it can move forward with its plans to add to its clientele, which now includes companies like Finisar
, JDS Uniphase
, Network Appliance
and Wind River Systems
The company’s main products are its SpendCap, BizPlan and TopLine applications, which offer collaborative budgeting, planning and forecasting.