Insights

The Lon­er­gan SV150 is the defin­i­tive list of the top pub­lic com­pa­nies in tech­nol­o­gy locat­ed in the Sil­i­con Val­ley. It is the suc­ces­sor to the SV150 list pub­lished for over thir­ty years by The Mer­cury News, which as of 2018 has been suspended.

As we do more analy­sis of the trends and sto­ries of the Lon­er­gan SV150, we will post our insights on this page. Check back peri­od­i­cal­ly or fol­low us on Twit­ter and LinkedIn.

Company Insights

Strong 12% rev­enue growth 2016 – 17

The Lon­er­gan SV150 had total 2017 rev­enues of $929 Bil­lion, which rep­re­sents 12% same com­pa­ny growth year-over-year. This was dri­ven in large part by #1 ranked Apple (rep­re­sent­ing 26% of Lon­er­gan SV150 rev­enue) which grew at a rebound­ed rate of 10%, ver­sus a pri­or cal­en­dar year sales decline of -7%.

Total rev­enues for com­pa­nies ranked #2-#150 grew at a healthy 13% year-over-year. This con­trasts with a much more slug­gish pri­or year rate of 2% rev­enue growth for the SV150 report­ed by The Mer­cury News in April 2017

Rev­enue growth was strong in soft­ware, semi­con­duc­tors and health­care tech­nol­o­gy. Growth in tech­nol­o­gy hard­ware, stor­age and periph­er­als as well as in net­work­ing and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions was much low­er. The fol­low­ing break­down rep­re­sents the unweight­ed aver­age rev­enue growth rate of the com­pa­nies pop­u­lat­ing each sector.

  • Soft­ware (48 com­pa­nies): 26
  • Semi­con­duc­tors (25 com­pa­nies): 24
  • Health­care tech­nol­o­gy, med­ical devices and bio­science (23 com­pa­nies): 23%
  • Tech­nol­o­gy hard­ware, stor­age and periph­er­als (9 com­pa­nies): 10%
  • Net­work­ing and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions (17 com­pa­nies): 7%

For addi­tion­al com­pa­ny finan­cial met­rics, includ­ing prof­itabil­i­ty ratios and mar­ket cap, down­load the full PDF.

Third year of spike in acqui­si­tion-based departures

2017 saw a total of 15 Lon­er­gan SV150 ranked pub­lic com­pa­nies ful­ly acquired and delist­ed. Fol­low­ing on a cat­a­clysmi­cal­ly active year in 2016 with 18 Mer­cury News SV150 ranked com­pa­nies depart­ing due to acqui­si­tion, the pace of recent acqui­si­tion-based depar­tures has been unusu­al­ly high. By con­trast, depar­tures among Mer­cury News SV150 ranked com­pa­nies in 2012 – 15 aver­aged only six per year.

So far in cal­en­dar year 2018, nine Lon­er­gan SV150 ranked com­pa­nies have been acquired, includ­ing the July 9 close of the Cav­i­um (LSV150 #69) acqui­si­tion by Mar­vell Tech­nol­o­gy Group (LSV150 #38), and the July 31 close of the Abax­is (LSV#131) acqui­si­tion by Zoetis. A tenth deal for Oclaro (LSV150 #86) by acquir­er Lumen­tum (LSV150 #62) is still pending.

The return of IPOs

Last year’s Mer­cury News SV150 list boast­ed only TWO new IPOs, the worst IPO show­ing since 2009. By con­trast, the 2018 Lon­er­gan SV150 has a much stronger class of ten new IPOs, five from 2017 and five from 2018 to date. The high­est rank­ing debut IPO on the Lon­er­gan SV150 is Num­ber 63 ranked Drop­box, with 2017 rev­enues of $1.1 Bil­lion. Recent IPOs have remade the land­scape of the Sil­i­con Val­ley, with 45 of the Lon­er­gan SV150 made up of com­pa­nies with IPOs from 2013 on. All ten new IPOs are list­ed in the table below.

RankCom­pa­nyBusi­ness Description2017 Sales (M)Prof­itabil­i­tyGrowthMkt Cap (B)
63Drop­BoxWeb-based con­tent shar­ing platform$1,107-10%31%$13.13
65Stitch FixPer­son­al­ized online retail service$1,0950%34%$2.69
91DocusignElec­tron­ic ver­i­fi­ca­tion software$519-10%36%$8.20
93RokuEnter­tain­ment streaming$513-12%29%$4.33
94Piv­otalHigh-per­for­mance com­put­ing software$509-32%22%$6.35
110Cloud­eraAI-based ana­lyt­ics platform$367-105%41%$2.04
126OktaIden­ti­ty man­age­ment software$260-44%62%$5.48
134ForeScoutSecu­ri­ty software$221-41%32%$1.42
140Zuo­raSub­scrip­tion man­age­ment software$167-28%49%$3.06
143ZscalerCloud-based secu­ri­ty$155-25%58%$4.44

Mar­ket cap reflects val­ue on July 22018.

The South Bay con­tin­ues to be the geo­graph­i­cal hub of Sil­i­con Val­ley head­quar­tered pub­lic tech companies

The South Bay is still the cen­ter of grav­i­ty for the pub­lic com­pa­ny tech world. Despite VC and start-up com­pa­ny flight north­wards, the South Bay (from Moun­tain View south to San Jose and includ­ing Fre­mont) rep­re­sents well over half of the Lon­er­gan SV150 com­pa­ny head­quar­ters. By con­trast, San Fran­cis­co rep­re­sents only 15% of Lon­er­gan SV150 headquarters.

  • 86 of the com­pa­nies in the Lon­er­gan SV150 are head­quar­tered in San­ta Clara county.
  • Five of 10 IPOs in 2017 – 18 are head­quar­tered in San Francisco 

People Insights

Women CEOs gained no ground

Despite an unprece­dent­ed lev­el of atten­tion focused on the issue of women in tech, the num­ber of women CEOs in the list remained sta­ble ver­sus our count from the 2017 Who Runs Sil­i­con Val­ley report, which num­bered women CEOs at six. Meg Whitman’s Feb­ru­ary, 2018 retire­ment from HPE (LSV150 #8) was coun­ter­bal­anced by the arrival of Kat­ri­na Lake, CEO-founder of 2017 IPO Stitch Fix (LSV150 #65). The cur­rent women CEOs of the Lon­er­gan SV150 are:

  • Safra Catz, Ora­cle (LSV150 #7)
  • Lisa Su, AMD (LSV150 #24)
  • Jayshree Ullal, Arista (LSV150 #52)
  • Kat­ri­na Lake, Stitch Fix (LSV150 #65)
  • Lynn Jurich, Sun­run (LSV150 #90)
  • Kim­ber­ly Popovits, Genom­ic Health (LSV150 #113)

Big improve­ment in women on boards 

As of the 2018 proxy sea­son, women direc­tors fill 19% of the board seats on the Lon­er­gan SV150 (board com­po­si­tion data for com­pa­nies with­out a 2018 proxy fil­ing to date came from their web­sites). Com­pared to our study of Sil­i­con Val­ley boards pub­lished in the 2015 Who Runs Sil­i­con Val­ley Board edi­tion, this is an increase of six per­cent­age points. A relent­less focus on gen­der diver­si­ty in the Sil­i­con Val­ley has yield­ed a change in recruit­ment at the board lev­el. In 2017, the por­tion of new board seat appoint­ments filled by women was 32%. The pace for 2018 to date is 35%.

  • Board seats filled by women: 153 in mid-2015 ris­ing to 237 today 
  • Per­cent women held seats: 13% in mid-2015 ris­ing to 19% today 
  • Num­ber of Lon­er­gan SV150 boards with no women direc­tors: 42 in mid-2015 drop­ping to 24 today 

New IPO founder CEOs retain clout with dual class stock own­er­ship structures

The num­ber of Lon­er­gan SV150 com­pa­nies uti­liz­ing a dual class stock own­er­ship (DCSO) struc­ture climbed from 16 to 22, large­ly as a func­tion of its pop­u­lar­i­ty with new IPO CEO-founders. Over half of the new IPOs that hit the list in 2017 – 18 to date employ a DCSO struc­ture. Com­pa­nies with this type of struc­ture have a sep­a­rate super-vote” class of stock typ­i­cal­ly con­trolled by insid­ers only.

The vot­ing pow­er of the CEO-founders at these DCSO com­pa­nies aver­aged 20.7% and is shown on the table below.

IPOs Using DCSO

RankCom­pa­nyCEOVot­ing Power
63Drop­BoxAndrew Hous­ton (founder)28.9%
65Stitch FixKat­ri­na Lake (founder)16.4%
93RokuAntho­ny Wood (founder)42.3%
94Piv­otalRob Mee (founder)< 1%
126OktaTodd McK­in­non (founder)26.5%
140Zuo­raTien Tzuo (founder)10.1%

Source for vot­ing pow­er comes from the 2018 proxy; in cas­es where no 2018 proxy is filed, the com­pa­ny stock prospec­tus was used.

By con­trast, the vot­ing pow­er of CEOs at recent IPOs NOT employ­ing a DCSO struc­ture aver­aged a much low­er 8% and is shown on the table below. 

IPOs Not Using DCSO

RankCom­pa­nyCEOVot­ing Power
91DocusignDan Springer<1%
110Cloud­eraThomas Reil­ly4.9%
134ForeScoutMichael DeCe­sare3.9%
143ZscalerJay Chaudhry (founder)22.9%

Source for vot­ing pow­er comes from the 2018 proxy; in cas­es where no 2018 proxy is filed, the com­pa­ny stock prospec­tus was used.

High CEO pay ratios are paired with high median employee compensation

For the first time, we are able to report CEO pay ratios for the Lonergan SV150. Slightly over half (79) of the companies on the list have now reported their 2017 CEO compensation in comparison to their median employee compensation. Average CEO compensation for this group was $9.43 million, and the average of median employee compensation was $123K. Using these two numbers, the CEO pay ratio for the Lonergan SV150 comes in at 77:1.

By comparison, the AFL-CIO reports that the equivalently computed CEO pay ratio in the S&P 500 is a much higher 361:1. This reflects higher average CEO compensation of $13.94 million and a MUCH LOWER average of median employee compensation of $38.6K.

Given the S&P 500 is made up of large companies only, a more valid comparison set is the largest 50 companies in the Lonergan SV150. In this group, 28 companies have reported their CEO pay ratios. The average CEO compensation in this group was $11.73 million; the average of median employee compensation was $127K. Using these two numbers, the CEO pay ratio for this group of companies come in at 92:1, which is still much lower than the S&P 500 ratio.

The Five Highest CEO Pay Ratios

RankCompanyCEOCEO PayMed Emp PayRatio
48SunPower CorporationTom Werner$4,246,216$4,500944:1
84Veeva SystemsPeter Gassner (founder)$88,141,333$94,810930:1
55Align TechnologyJoseph Hogan$11,744,047$12,764920:1
75PlantronicsJoe Burton$4,725,611$5,157916:1
133QualysPhilippe Courtot$22,749,836$39,047583:1

The highest CEO pay ratios in the Lonergan SV150 are mostly paired with low median employee compensation. In some cases this is explained by a non-US based manufacturing/operations workforce. The exception above is Veeva (CEO founder Peter Gassner) whose proxy notes that the CEO's 2017 compensation was unusually high due to the entire grant date fair value of new options granted to him in January 2018 ($87 million) that are planned to vest in 2021-2025.

Five Lowest CEO Pay Ratios

RankCompanyCEOCEO PayMed Emp PayRatio
95BoxAaron Levie (founder)$275,200$181,1001.5:1
13Tesla MotorsElon Musk (founder)$49,920$54,8160.9:1
41SquareJack Dorsey (founder)$2.75$152,265NM
2AlphabetLarry Page (founder)$1$197,274NM
37TwitterJack Dorsey (founder)$0$161,8600

All the above CEOs with the lowest pay ratios are founders who accepted little to no 2017 compensation. The concentration of founder-led companies in the Lonergan SV150 differentiates this list from the S&P 500.

The Stan­ford Dish ban­ner pho­to at the top of this page is by Jawed [CC BY 3.0 ], from Wiki­me­dia Commons