Palvi Mehta believes an effective chief financial officer knows a business by the numbers — and what’s behind them, too. It’s how she has helped ExtraHop to scale at a rapid pace, playing key roles in sales, recruitment and global expansion.
Wearing many hats, she notes, “gives me a unique bird’s-eye perspective and an end-to-end view of the business.” That observation mirrors ExtraHop’s product, which helps make large networks more efficient and secure by providing detailed information about their operation. Mehta delves fearlessly into operational challenges beyond the scope of most CFOs to drive more successful decisions.
For example, Mehta has worked extensively with the sales team to map out customer behavior and market dynamics to identify top industry verticals and sales targets and prospects to expand business. Working this way, she has helped drive significant sales success that is financially prudent, as offices and operations expanded to six new global territories. On the heels of ExtraHop’s $41 million financing round in 2014, Mehta and her team led an aggressive, single-year recruitment program that increased employee headcount by 75 percent.
This was a real achievement in a tight market for quality talent. “When you’re not Amazon or Microsoft,” she notes, “you’re an underdog trying to grow your business here.”
To further grow capacity, she also led migration to contract manufacturing for some appliance lines. Mehta’s appetite for impact continues into her community efforts as treasurer for Code.org, which evangelizes programming to underrepresented minorities and women. Developing software remains beyond her own talents, but the logic and math are essential.
“The future is bent to people who can have those basic, fundamental skills,” she observes. “It’s really changing the world.”