10 questions for EdgeCast CFO Mike Kleiman

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That's easy -- it's the people. I've been working professionally for about 25 years and been very fortunate to be exposed to many different environments, especially in my consulting days. Collectively, EdgeCasters are among the most vibrant, creative people you will find anywhere. We are very lucky. Something about the culture here draws these sorts of folks in and then pushes them to new levels of achievement and growth. I have seen some amazing individual transformations here and have experienced some myself. It's not for everybody -- not everybody makes it, but those who do really have a lot of drive and energy, and a lot of desire to participate and to engage in the team environment.

The culture is a reflection of its founders, whom I have known for many years and eagerly sought out when I was looking for a new adventure. They are the kind of team you want to stick with for life, and that is powerful stuff in business. If you have read Jim Collin's book "From Good to Great," you know exactly what I am talking about.

As a CFO, working here is pure pleasure. We consistently exceed financial performance expectations because we have a first-rate team and strategy. Our VCs and investors are very pleased, so they don't micromanage. Board meetings stay focused on meaningful strategy discussions. I also have an awesome finance and admin team -- they make me look good and basically run the show on a day-to-day basis with very little involvement with me. That frees up my time to focus on developing the business outside of the traditional financial function. In many ways, I wear both the CFO and COO hats, which keeps things fresh and exciting, and lets me do a lot of things to increase our value and profitability. It is a great honor and a pleasure to be a part of this place and work with these folks.

9. What do you do to unwind from a hectic day?

I am a big fan of the outdoors. I also love contrast, especially to the congested streets of LA. Whenever I can, I escape to the big, wide open spaces for some cycling, trail running, hiking or skiing. The combination of intense physical exercise, solitude and a cranking iPod are the ultimate reset button for me. I find this is best followed by kicking back with a frosty beverage and a Lakers game, where I can live vicariously through athletic abilities that I wish were mine.

My wife and I get out to the mountains fairly regularly. A couple of our favorites are the Sawtooths of central Idaho and the mountain-biking mecca of Moab. We can get lost for hours in those hills and come back totally recharged. I have heard it said that extroverted people recharge their batteries in social settings, and introverted people recharge their batteries in solitude. If this is true, color me introverted.

10. If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?

If something magical happened and EdgeCast was suddenly acquired and that lined our pockets with cash, I would probably take a six-month cycling sabbatical and ride across America. That's something I've always wanted to do. Then I'd probably do some hiking and find a way to do some scuba diving since it's been a while since I've done that seriously. I really enjoy the outdoor adventure sports, so I would take a chunk of time for that. But I think after about six months, I would probably get bored and find a way to get the band back together for another run at building a new venture. I don't know what that would be, but I've got some cool ideas cooking and I am sure they do too.

I would also like to write a book someday, a novel of sorts built on some personal experiences and some things that I find are stranger than fiction.

I would like to sunset later in life on serving a meaningful philanthropic cause that reflects my abilities and beliefs. I'm still searching for what that would be, but I do have a desire to give back to life.

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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