I’ve been doing series of interviews with early employees of notable tech companies. Latest one is Paul McNamara discussing his days at Red Hat.
“Red Hat went public on August 11, 1999. We priced at $14 per share and by the closing bell the shares were trading at $52 per share — the 8 largest first day gain in the history of Wall Street at the time. By January the stock hit $296 per share and we split the stock 2 for 1. At this price, the company was valued at nearly $20 billion and my personal net worth exceeded the GDP of several small countries – at least on paper. Red Hat was trading at more than 475 times trailing revenue. To put this in perspective, at its height, Facebook traded at only 22 time trailing revenue.”