FORTUNE -- Nothing says, "we plan to go public" more than when a startup bulks up its board with executives from brand-name companies. Software company Jive has just done that, with the addition of former McAfee (MFE) Chairman Chuck Robel, McAffee President David DeWalt, Facebook's VP of Technical Operations Jonathan Heiliger and Mr. Chrome Browser himself, Sundar Pichai from Google (GOOG).
Jive is in the fast-growing "social" business software category. They hate it when you say this, but think of Jive as Facebook for work. Instead of endless updates on that weekend in Tahoe, it's about getting the latest project finishing with your colleagues and keeping customers happy. Other companies in this space include Salesforce.com (CRM), SocialText, and Yammer among others.
Jive is running hard among its competitors, and with 15 million users is right there in the front of the pack. Going public might just give it the resources and attention it needs to try and distance itself from the competition. Jive CEO Tony Zingale, who's led a few public companies himself, is vague on the subject of an IPO, though he has said in the past that he wants 2011 to be the year. "We see the benefits of being a public company," Zingale says. Then like all CEOs not wanting to run afoul of SEC law, he will tell you that Jive is focused on being the best enterprise software company it can be. More
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