Monday, May 7, 2012

Two Stellar New Board Members - One Common Mission


Gerhard Watzinger and Denis O’Leary Join the CrowdStrike Board of Directors

One of the things that I have learned during my time working for large and small companies is the need to have the right leadership at all levels of your operation.  I have seen first hand the value a powerful Board of Directors (BOD) can bring to an organization and the long-term impact on shareholder value they can have.  Today, I am delighted to announce that Gerhard Watzinger  and Denis OLeary have joined the BOD of CrowdStrike, in addition to our main investor Patrick Severson from Warburg Pincus.   Gerhard will be assuming the role of non-executive Chairman of the Board.

From October 2007 - March of 2012, Gerhard Watzinger served as the Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President at McAfee, where he was responsible for guiding McAfee's global business strategy and development.  Gerhard helped accelerate the international expansion of McAfee and directed the company through numerous successful mergers and acquisitions, which resulted in record revenue growth and increased market share.  His most notable accomplishment was directly architecting the sale of McAfee to Intel for almost 8 billion dollars, which is one of the largest technology deals in the history of IT.  Gerhard and I arrived on similar paths, and joined McAfee via acquisition.  Gerhard was the CEO of SafeBoot, a leading enterprise security software vendor for data encryption and user authentication, which was acquired in 2007 right before they were about to go public.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to be collaborating with Gerhard again.  He has vast experience in helping to build, run, and scale large and small companies.  Given his extensive international background, he has the most global experience of any executive I have had the privilege of working with in my career.  I know he is superbly suited and equally excited to provide the necessary strategic guidance on the roadmap and evolution of CrowdStrike via a combination of organic and inorganic growth models.   Gerhard is one of the rare gems in the business world that possesses a combination of ruthless tactical execution and visionary strategic planning skills.  Frankly, he was one of the main reasons McAfee was so successful over the past few years. 

Denis O’Leary, is presently managing partner of Encore Financial Partners, Inc., a firm focused on the acquisition and management of U.S. based banks.  Previously he spent twenty five years at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, and served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Director of Finance, Head of Retail Branch Banking, and Managing Executive of Lab Morgan (a unit focused on strategic equity investing in technology), becoming a member of the company’s nine - person executive committee when it was established in 1997.   Prior to the acquisition by Intel, Denis most recently served on the Board of Directors of McAfee where I had the privilege to work with him.  As an experienced CIO who was in charge of running one of the largest IT shops on the planet, his experience is invaluable in helping guide us on delivering technology and services that meet the needs of the most demanding enterprises.  Moreover, his experience as a public company board member at both Fiserve and McAfee will aid in growing the company both domestically and internationally.  Most startups at this stage of our life cycle don’t have the opportunity to attract individuals who serve on public company boards, but when I approached Denis about our vision, he immediately saw the opportunity to build a transformational security company.

The addition of these two individuals to our team provides CrowdStrike with amazing depth in the boardroom. Gerhard and Denis have stellar credentials; however, what is most impressive is that they each share a common vision, mission, and purpose for CrowdStrike.  Each of these leaders bear time tested battle scars that will help us adjust and sharpen our roadmap to address today’s security challenges.  Like me, they too share a common vision for creating a company focused on bucking the status quo.  More importantly, they are the “A team” that will continue to help us attract “A players” from around the globe.  Things just got a little more interesting...

I also want to thank everyone who has reached out to us and inquired about joining CrowdStrike; it has been truly humbling and awe inspiring.   We continue to seek out world-class programmers, designers, incident response consultants, malware researchers, and intelligence analysts who have strong skills and experience.  If you think your experience matches up, please send your resume to mission@crowdstrike.com.  Keep up the good fight!

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