When Christina Whittaker joined Alteryx Inc. toward the end of 2016, she knew the company had goals of going public, but didn’t know just how close the data analytics software firm really was to taking that leap.
Whittaker, a public company lawyer by trade who previously worked at California law firm O’Melveny and Myers, focuses on Securities and Exchange Commission rules, reporting and practice.
That came in handy immediately at Alteryx (NYSE: AYX), where she was tasked with filing a confidential SEC Form S-1 right after joining the company.
Alteryx was co-founded by OC entrepreneur Dean Stoecker in 1997 and went public in March 2017, just months after she joined the company.
“It was more exciting than it was terrifying,” Whittaker told the Business Journal. “We were off to the races and we were busy from day one.”
Today, Whittaker—who won in the Rising Star category at the Business Journal’s General Counsel Awards on Nov. 16—is No. 2 in Alteryx’s legal department, holding the title of senior director of legal affairs at the company’s Spectrum Terrace headquarters. She leads a team of five.
“Alteryx has really expanded my practice,” Whittaker said. “My experience here at Alteryx is overall more interesting and engaging and exciting than the practice I had at O’Melveny.”
Whittaker is a two-time winner of Business Journal awards, having previously been awarded at last year’s event in the In-House Legal Team category, led by Chief Legal Officer Chris Lal.
$400M Largest Buy
Alteryx was the darling of investors when the company’s market cap topped $10 billion in early 2020. Its market cap has since slid to about $2.8 billion.
Whittaker’s tasks include public company reporting, corporate governance, M&A, stock administration and legal operations.
She has led more than $500 million of acquisitions, including last year’s $400 million cash purchase of San Francisco-based Trifacta, the company’s largest acquisition to date.
She also led acceleration of the Alteryx Ventures program, which was launched in 2021, completed two ventures in 2022, and had completed nine ventures as of earlier this year.
The company’s current CEO is industry veteran Mark Anderson, and the firm counted about 2,500 employees as of August.
Cal Poly, UCLA
Whittaker received her bachelor’s degree in political science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2007, and her law degree from UCLA three years later.
She is the founder of the Interfaith Community, an employee resource group (ERG) at Alteryx dedicated to the promotion of multi-faith understanding and the facilitation of individuals’ ability to practice their faith.
To get around potential discrimination or other controversial issues, she made the ERG “inclusive of all faiths, even those that don’t have a faith.”
It now includes weekly prayer meetings while avoiding evangelism.
“I pray from a Christian faith. I invite my Muslim friends to pray, my Jewish friends to pray. Whoever feels comfortable to do so. That’s really our mission to increase that awareness.”
The group represents roughly 100 “people from all different faiths,” including Mormons and representatives of Zoroastrianism, an ancient faith of modern-day Iran.
She has also been part of the core leadership for Women’s Ministries at Saddleback Church.
She says her husband, Chris Whittaker, was a “fantastic litigator” at O’Melveny and Myers, her former firm, for 10 years before he made a notable switch into his current role at home.
“At one point we decided it was going to be best for our family if one of us stayed at home.
He raised his hand and decided to do that for our family,” she said, adding how that step has allowed her to find her own success at Alteryx.
A native of the Inland Empire, Whittaker lives in Lake Forest with her husband and their two children, aged seven and five.