484: Milestones for a CFO Barn Raiser | Andrew Guggenhime, CFO, Dermira

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When asked about his arrival at Dermira, CFO Andrew Guggenhime explains: "I was the 22nd employee, and today we have over 300."

Along the way, the company executed an IPO, reached a market value of $1 billion, received FDA approval for its first medication (last June), and brought the offering to market (last October). Not bad for a five-year CFO sprint into the land of leading-edge medical dermatology.

Looking back, Guggenhime says: "When I joined Dermira, we had one other person on the finance team. We had no employees on our legal team. We had no employees on our IT team. And those were functions for which I was responsible. So we had to build those teams and begin by bringing in the leaders and building those capabilities so that we could not only serve the growing needs of the company internally, but also satisfy our obligations as a public company."

Today, with his finance team in place, Guggenhime prefers to look forward as he and his team awaits the "readouts" from different clinical evaluations. "Preparing the organization for the readouts regardless of the outcome is an important task for us," says Guggenhime, whose remarks seldom stray far from the topic of raising capital. "We have to access capital to continue to execute on our strategy, to continue to fulfill the vision of the company, and to continue to build the portfolio and to develop the treatments that will benefit patients," says employee number 22. –Jack Sweeney

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