Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today announced the appointments of David Schwarzbach as Chief Financial Officer, effective February 14, and Christine Barone, CEO of True Food Kitchen, to Yelp’s Board of Directors, effective March 1.
“David brings a strong track record of driving results and accelerating growth, and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Yelp. “David played a key role in the growth of eBay’s North America Marketplaces business to more than $30 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume and we believe his experience with scaling businesses will serve the company and our shareholders well. With David’s appointment, we have a strong management team in place to continue the execution of our strategy to drive revenue growth and continued margin expansion.”
Mr. Schwarzbach joins Yelp from Optimizely, where he most recently served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. He is a seasoned finance expert who brings extensive experience in driving growth at consumer data and marketplace companies. He will be replacing James Miln, who has been serving as interim CFO since September 2019. Mr. Miln will resume his role leading Financial Planning and Analysis at Yelp.
“I am excited to step into the CFO role at Yelp to help the company continue executing its strategic plan, accelerate growth and deliver value to shareholders,” said Mr. Schwarzbach. “I look forward to working with the entire Yelp team to build on the company’s momentum and strong business fundamentals.”
Speaking to the appointment of Ms. Barone to the Board of Directors, Diane Irvine, Chair of the Yelp Board said, “Christine brings valuable and complementary skills and expertise to our Board, and we are very excited to welcome her. With Restaurants a critical category for Yelp, having the perspective and operating experience of the CEO of a fast-growing restaurant brand will be extremely beneficial. Christine also shares our commitment to innovation and development, as well as delivering the highest quality products and services to customers. On behalf of the Board, I’d also like to thank Mariam for her years of service to Yelp; we wish her well.”
Ms. Barone replaces Mariam Naficy, who stepped down after six years as a Director of the Yelp Board, effective February 8. Ms. Barone will serve as a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
Ms. Barone said, “Yelp has staked out a key role in the landscape of local business, including restaurants, and I look forward to working with the talented members of the Yelp Board to help the company create value for its customers and its shareholders.”
Yelp today separately announced its fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial results and will host a conference call at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss the results.
About David Schwarzbach
Before joining Yelp, Mr. Schwarzbach served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Optimizely, Inc., which provides A/B testing tools and personalization capabilities for websites, mobile apps and connected devices. He joined Optimizely in 2015 from eBay, where he held senior finance positions including Vice President and CFO for the North America marketplace. Prior to eBay, Mr. Schwarzbach was the CFO of a cleantech startup in Colorado and earlier served as an Executive Director in Morgan Stanley’s Global Capital Markets division. Mr. Schwarzbach holds a B.S. from the University of California, Davis and an MPA in economics and public policy from Princeton University.
About Christine Barone
Christine Barone is the CEO of True Food Kitchen, an award-winning seasonal kitchen and bar that has pioneered health-driven dining. Ms. Barone has grown True Food to 33 restaurants across 14 states. Prior to True Food, Ms. Barone ran the food business at Starbucks as Senior Vice President of Food, Licensed Stores and Evenings, where she led the roll-out and launch of La Boulange bakery offerings to over 12,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to Starbucks, Ms. Barone spent ten years leading multiple teams as a management consultant with Bain & Company, where she advised leaders of retail, consumer and technology businesses on strategy, marketing, organization and operations. She began her career as an investment banker. Ms. Barone graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in applied mathematics and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Yelp Inc. (www.yelp.com) connects people with great local businesses. With unmatched local business information, photos and review content, Yelp provides a one-stop local platform for consumers to discover, connect and transact with local businesses of all sizes by making it easy to request a quote, join a waitlist, and make a reservation, appointment or purchase. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004.
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, Yelp’s future performance, Yelp’s ability to continue the execution of its strategy to drive revenue growth and continued margin expansion, Mr. Schwarzbach’s ability to help Yelp successfully execute is strategic plan, accelerate growth, deliver more value to shareholders and build on Yelp’s momentum and strong business fundamentals, and Ms. Barone’s ability to help Yelp create more value for its customers and shareholders, that are based on its current expectations, forecasts, and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties.
Yelp’s actual results could differ materially from those predicted or implied and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, Yelp’s:
- limited operating history in an evolving industry;
- ability to generate sufficient revenue to maintain profitability, particularly in light of its significant ongoing sales and marketing expenses;
- ability to generate and maintain sufficient high-quality content from its users; and
- ability to maintain and expand its base of advertisers, particularly as an increasing portion of advertisers have the ability to cancel their advertising campaigns at any time.