Arm has appointed Inder M. Singh, a Wall Street executive with experience in M&A and initial public offerings, as its new executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), presumably to chart the company’s path to a possible IPO.

Arm’s owner, SoftBank, has publicly indicated it is considering an exit from Arm through an IPO. The appointment of a CFO with Singh’s specific background could be the clearest way of achieving and maybe even accelerating this goal. While it was reported a year ago that an IPO might well be five years away, EE Times has learned that there have been suggestions that this could be accelerated to be completed within two years.

Singh joins Arm from Unisys, which he joined in March 2016 and served as senior vice president and CFO. At Unisys, Singh led all finance functions including controllership, treasury, taxes, investor relations, M&A and corporate strategy. He also has a track record of leading or supporting IPO activity, particularly with AT&T as VP of corporate finance and with Prudential Financial and Lehman Brothers.

Inder Singh
Inder Singh

In announcing his arrival at Arm today, Singh said one of the reasons he joined Arm was because of CEO Simon Segars’ focus on cybersecurity. Singh said this is a passion of his, especially since he’s served in an advisory role on projects for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the last 15 years, providing them with insights on current and future technologies in the context of M&A.

Segars commented, “Inder’s financial expertise in multiple technology markets is a strong addition to Arm’s management team,” said. “His experience and proven track record of finance leadership in Fortune 500 technology companies will be invaluable as Arm targets new growth opportunities fueled by 5G, automotive, IoT, hybrid cloud infrastructures and machine learning.

Prior to Unisys, Singh was managing director, technology, media and communications at SunTrust Bank. Singh also held financial leadership roles at Comcast Corporation, Cisco Systems and AT&T/Lucent Technologies and has a decade of experience as an equity analyst.

Arm’s two previous CFOs were both only in position for around 18 months each. In January this year, Tim Pullen, who held the position, left the company after a year-and-a-half, taking up the CFO role at compound semiconductor firm IQE in Cardiff, Wales; prior to that, Chris Kennedy left Arm in April 2017 after a similar period of time, having been a key player involved in the sale of Arm for $32 billion to SoftBank.

It seems by looking to the US and appointing Singh, who will be based in San Jose, California, Arm was looking for a strong global CFO to lead an expected IPO for the firm, and possibly with a lead on Wall Street rather than London.