As cloud-software firm Veeva Systems races to keep up with the growth of its clients in the life sciences sector, the California-based company is turning to the Boston labor market for some help, with plans to add 200 jobs to its local operations over the next 18 months.
Veeva’s expansion could be a sign of things to come for Boston’s tech scene once the pandemic is over and it’s safe to go back to the office. The pre-pandemic routines will not necessarily return to the way they were for many companies that continue to give workers flexibility to stay at home.
Veeva has had a “work from anywhere” policy for years. Veeva chief executive Peter Gassner said that of the 200 local hires, maybe a third will work in the office, and the rest can be remote. Veeva already had about 100 employees here, based out of a co-working space in the Seaport, before the pandemic hit. The company signed a lease this month at 100 Summer St. for about 6,500 feet — an office size that would traditionally be more well-suited for 30 people instead of 300 — though Gassner said the Summer Street location has expansion options.
The Boston office will be an engineering hub. Veeva specializes in software that helps biotech and pharmaceutical companies oversee research and development efforts and communicate with doctors and patients during drug trials.
“We’re about life sciences and software,” Gassner said. “It doesn’t take a genius to realize we should be in Boston.”
The company will be hiring in other cities as well, including Philadelphia, Toronto, and its home base of Pleasanton, Calif. Gassner hopes to double Veeva’s 4,500-person workforce by 2025. The company is on track for $1.45 billion in revenue in the fiscal year that ends Sunday, with a forecast of $1.7 billion for the following year. Veeva’s stock has risen about 90 percent over the last year and is trading in the $275 range, giving it a market value of about $42 billion.
As it expands, Veeva has an unusual offer for recruits: On Monday, at the beginning of its new fiscal year, Veeva will become the first publicly traded company in the country to convert to a public benefit corporation structure. That means, legally, Veeva can put the interests of new and existing employees — as well as its customers — on par with those of its investors. By contrast, traditional publicly traded companies have a duty to put their loyalties first to the corporation itself and its shareholders.
As a public benefit corporation, Veeva will have additional legal protection to make decisions that aren’t solely driven by shareholder returns. Gassner said he’s seeking people who want to work for a well-performing company with a moral compass and a meaningful purpose.
“We make good profits” but that’s not the only motivation, Gassner said. “We’re a mission-driven company.”