Zoom CFO Kelly Steckelberg Discusses Her Outlook on a Post-COVID World

Zoom Video Communications Inc. Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg discusses the company’s performance during the Covid-19 pandemic and its outlook. Zoom projected annual revenue that would top analysts’ estimates, signaling the video meeting service expects to remain a ubiquitous presence in daily life even as the pandemic recedes. Steckelberg speaks to Emily Chang on “Bloomberg Technology.”

Steckelberg: We’re really optimistic about the future. We see huge momentum. We also have some exciting innovations coming later this year with OnZoom, which is our event hosting platform that’s currently in beta. And this will allow these individuals, sole proprietor, small business owners, to have a simplified platform for hosting events and also a directory for being located. So they can reach a further network than they’ve been able to before. We’re also excited about the apps, which there’s about 25 of these apps in prototype today, which are really going to create more immersive experiences. So that allows you to collaborate, for example, in a zoom meeting, as if you were in the conference room with somebody. So we’re listening to our customers. And we’re really looking for opportunities to continue to innovate as they think about what their future of work strategy is.

Host: I’m curious how this is all impacting your work strategy and what this means for Zoom employees, I mean, it’s kind of a meta question being that you’re the company that’s keeping. So many people connected. But President Biden just said, we’re going to have vaccines for all of us adults by the end of May. What kind of comfort does that give you? Does that mean that your employees are going to be back to the office soon?

Steckelberg: So we’re really excited, like everybody is to have the vaccine distribution accelerated around the globe. We are taking a very conservative approach when it comes to our return to the office strategy, as we, of course, had the luxury of living on this technology every single day. And we’ve seen that our employees have really enjoyed the flexibility that working remotely has given them. Also, we’ve seen, obviously extreme employee productivity coming off the year that we just had. And so we want to ensure, first and foremost, that all of our employees feel comfortable and returning to the work in a way that feels comfortable for them and also gives them the flexibility if they move that they need to be family. So we’re going to be probably one of the last companies to go back to the office eventually.

Host: Now, as you mentioned, you’ve been living on Zoom for years. There are companies that are trying to encroach on the territory that you’ve staked out. We’re seeing increasing competition from Microsoft with teams. There’s, of course, Cisco and Webex. There’s Google just throwing meet’s into Google calendars. I feel like more than once a week someone shows up on a Google Meet and we’re supposed to be on a Zoom. You know, how much are you seeing this competition impact your growth and your initiatives?

Steckelberg: So the way that we think about competition is it makes us all be better. We first and foremost, focus on delivering happiness to our customers. And we listen to them every day. We learn from them, what’s important to them. We innovate and devote 20% of each product release to our customers’ requests to ensure that we are really meeting those needs. I mean, I could go on and on about the innovation that we’re focusing on. But as we think about a return to work, other things like smart gallery, which is going to continue to improve the face to face interactions when you have some employees in the office and some working remotely. And it’s things like that. When we were listening to that, the challenges or the opportunities that our customers see ahead and rising to the occasion to deliver to them. And that’s what we think really makes Zoom that video communications platform of choice for our customers.

*Bloomberg contributed to this article

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