Stacey Cunningham, the first woman to lead the New York Stock Exchange as president. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)
Stacey Cunningham sits at the intersection of several historical moments in the business world.
She is the first-ever female president of the New York Stock Exchange. And during the beginning of her time at the helm — she has only been on the job for a year — Cunningham has overseen one of the busiest years for companies going public in recent history, including one of the biggest IPOs yet.
Uber completed what Cunningham called one of the top-10 largest IPOs last week, but the ride-hailing giant’s public debut was somewhat disappointing. Its stock opened below its IPO price range and dropped further Friday, before bouncing back Monday. Cunningham warned not to focus too closely on Uber’s debut on the public market and instead look at its market value and future.
“The first couple of days of trading should not be reflective of what the company has built and can deliver to their investors over time,” Cunningham said. “Uber didn’t exist 10 years ago. Today, it’s got a platform with almost 100 million users that it can end up leveraging in a variety of different ways. So I think investors should be focused on what’s to come next.”
Cunningham sat down with GeekWire at a Smartsheet event for women tech leaders to chat about this year’s IPO, why it is happening now, and how it compares to the past. She also touched on what its like to be the first ever woman leader of the New York Stock Exchange and how organizations can foster better representation of women at the top. The conversation has been edited for style and clarity.
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