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Thumbtack Hires First CFO and Snags Top Political Operative From Airbnb

It's putting its new funding to work with these key executive hires.

Panachai Cherdchucheep/Shutterstock

Fresh off its $125 million fundraising round, home services marketplace Thumbtack, which matches people with plumbers, tutors and other providers, has landed two key new hires.

It has brought in Silicon Valley finance veteran Servaes Tholen as its first CFO and named Mitt Romney’s former general counsel Katie Biber as lead in-house counsel.

Tholen has made his career serving as a two-time CFO, first at eBay from 2005-2010 and then at Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk). He made the rounds at eBay, running financial matters for its Netherlands and U.K. branches before becoming CFO of eBay North America.

Although his presence suggests Thumbtack is shoring up its ranks for an IPO, CEO Marco Zappacosta denied it. “We may choose to IPO one day but it’s not something we are actively thinking about at the moment.”

The second hire, Biber, fought Mitt Romney’s legal battles during his 2012 campaign run and then joined Airbnb in 2013 as senior counsel. This month, Marie Claire named her one of the 50 most influential women in the U.S. thanks to her work bringing political savvy and know-how to the tech industry.

Biber is the latest in a rising trend of D.C.-to-SF migrations, joining the likes of former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, who is now advising Uber, and former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who represents Amazon. Biber will be helping Thumbtack manage legal issues around safety.

The new hires come as Thumbtack hits a key growth phase. The company recently crossed the $1 billion valuation mark with a round led by Scottish investment management firm Baillie Gifford, and now it needs to prove its worth to its investors.

It has 200,000 professionals active on the site in all 50 states. Instead of pushing into international markets, the company plans to focus on building out its core product, adding scheduling and invoicing tools for service professionals.

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