Basically because I've been thinking lately about how long companies are spending in VC These Years/Post Bust. And when I look at how much companies have raised, and the valuations implied by the more recent rounds at some companies, I can see why they aren't in any hurry to IPO. Altho that doesn't really explain why people bought into those later rounds. But whatever. You get excited. I get it.
Katie Benner says, "I’m told by lawyers and bankers who work on these deals that it typically takes a CFO a year or more to settle in, understand the books and figure out what needs to be done to get a company’s financial performance and accounting camera-ready for public markets."
Joy Covey started in December of 1996 (I still feel sad when I think about Joy). Amazon did its IPO in May of 1997. I know, I know, that's setting the bar unnaturally high, because Joy was very much the most amazing finance person I have ever encountered. Or probably ever _will_ encounter.
Clearly, my reference values for how long this stuff takes are not accurate.