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Box Files $250 Million IPO, But Aaron Levie Only Gets 4%

Did the founder and CEO sacrifice his equity for the sake of the company?

Box Files $250 Million IPO, But Aaron Levie Only Gets 4%

[Image: Flickr user elliott bledsoe]

Late Monday evening, Box, the cloud storage company and brainchild of mercurial "mad scientist" Aaron Levie, filed for a $250 million IPO. The filing was widely anticipated. What wasn't anticipated, however, is Levie's stake in the company. According to the filing, he will only own 4.1% of Box when it goes public, a low percentage as founder and CEO.

TechCrunch speculates that Box's lack of profitability contributed to the low stake:

Another way to put it is that Levie didn’t have much choice. Box needed that funding ... It looks like all that equity Levie traded away was to bring in money so Box could seduce enterprise CIOs into buying it.

In 2012, Fast Company editor Robert Safian identified Levie as a member of Generation Flux, for his ability to thrive in times of ambiguity. "Any company has to be managed and run a little different when it gets bigger," Levie told us. "The ultimate success is to define future markets, and place yourself at the center of them."