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Glam Media replaces chief financial officer

It certainly looks as if the women's-focused advertising company is planning to go public, as new CFO Stephen E. Recht helmed Shutterfly's IPO in 2006.

Could an initial public offering be on the way for the highly ambitious Glam Media? The Valley-based advertising and media company has hired a new chief financial officer, Stephen E. Recht, who was the CFO of photo-printing site Shutterfly when it went public in 2006.

Recht replaces Ernie Cicogna, a co-founder of Glam. Cicogna will remain with the company as executive vice president of Glam Partners and general manager of the Glam Publisher Network.

"(Glam) has perfected a unique media business model and established itself as the leader in vertical content networks online," Recht said in a release. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to the company's continued upward trajectory."

That could mean a few things: on one hand, an initial public offering, but on the other hand, Glam could have recruited him simply because it needs to make more money. With an advertising recession looming and talk of dot-com doom spreading all over the Web, Glam could just be getting down to business. For obvious reasons, a financial crisis isn't the greatest time to go public; Glam is also rumored to have gone through a round of layoffs earlier this fall.

That said, Glam (and its colorful CEO, Samir Arora) is known for its audacity. The company first made its name as an ad network on fashion and celebrity gossip sites, before branching out into everything from eco-living to African-American lifestyle to the luxury market. It's raised an astonishing amount of venture capital, has stocked its executive ranks with veterans of both print publishing and Silicon Valley, and was at the center of a rumored billion-dollar buyout offer.

Depending on whom you talked to, that buyout offer was either a fake rumor started internally to drum up Glam's market value or a savvy pre-IPO move. And that's the bipolar perception of Glam in both the tech and advertising sectors: some think it's the future of the industry, whereas skeptics see it as a big, drawn-out case of pride before a fall.

But now it looks as if there's one ex-Shutterfly executive who's betting on the former.