Allied Universal made a $1 billion buy in July to bring its employment to 210,000.
Last week, the largest private security firm in the U.S. hired as chief financial officer Andrew “Drew” Vollero, a proven Wall Street veteran whose experience includes a stint taking public the once high-flying tech wunderkind Snap Inc.
The Santa Ana-based company is considering going public, perhaps as soon as next year, according to Allied Universal Chief Executive Steve Jones.
He said the company is valued at $7 billion to $7.5 billion, which would make it the fifth-largest publicly traded company based in Orange County.
“The fact that Drew took a company public in such a swift manner” was impressive, Jones told the Business Journal last week. “On the technology side, someone like Drew brings a strategic advantage to us.”
Why would Vollero jump from the high-margin tech world to a low-margin, labor-intensive industry that’s less valued on Wall Street?
“Allied Universal is a terrific story,” Vollero said. “The growth is special. The business has done very well. It’s an opportunity to get in here and work with a talented management team.”
Vollero earned a bachelor’s degree in math and economics with high honors from Yale University and a master’s in management from the University of Oxford.
He’s well-versed on Orange County, having served as controller at Irvine-based Taco Bell, and now lives in Laguna Niguel.
The 52 year old also knows Wall Street’s language, having served for 10 years as chief of investor relations at Mattel Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT), where he was also a division chief financial officer.
In 2015, Vollero joined Snap (NYSE: SNAP) and a few months later became its first CFO, overseeing a sevenfold revenue jump in 2016.
Eighteen months after joining, he helped take the company public in March 2017. The IPO was a huge hit on Wall Street as shares soared 61% on its first two days of trading, pushing its market value past $30 billion.
Though revenue doubled last year to $824.9 million, the Venice-based company’s luster faded due to slower-than-anticipated growth and its infamous battles with Facebook Inc.
Vollero left Snap in May, replaced by Tim Stone, senior vice president of finance at Amazon.com Inc. Top executives in sales, content, engineering, strategy and legal have also left Snap this year.
While Snap’s shares have fallen about two-thirds from its IPO price, the company still has an $8.4 billion market cap.