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Eric Yuan of Zoom: How WebEx’s Unhappy Customers Inspired Zoom (rerun)

Season 2

Episode 13

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Interviewed by Hans Tung and Zara Zhang.

Today’s episode originally aired in July 2018. The guest is Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, known for its easy-to-use and reliable video conferencing product. Zoom became a listed company in April 2019 and soon became one of the largest public SaaS companies in the world.

The recent outbreak of the coronavirus has made remote working part of many people’s new realities. It also puts remote working tools like Zoom under a stress test with the surging needs, which Zoom did incredibly well. It always works. GGV has been a happy customer of Zoom for a really long time and we hope this conversation can give you a hint on how it became successful in the first place.

Zoom is used by a third of Fortune 500 companies and 90% of the top 200 universities in the US. Eric was recently named the Top CEO on Glassdoor, with an approval rating of 99%, and was the first person of color to win the award. Eric grew up and went to college in China, arrived in Silicon Valley in 1997 and joined WebEx when it was still a small company. In 2007 WebEx was acquired by Cisco and Eric became Cisco’s Corporate VP of engineering in charge of collaboration software. Eric spent 14 years in total at WebEx and grew its engineering team from 10 to 800, and increased its revenue from zero to over $800 million. Eric holds 11 patents, plus 20 pending patents in the pipeline.

In this episode, Eric shared his story of being rejected a US visa for 8 times while in China, getting its first paid customer, balancing the needs of SMB and enterprise, and what makes Zoom different from its competitors.

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