Longtime sales executive Thomas Hansen is hopping from one IPO candidate to another, but his newest employer is smaller than the one he just left, at least for now.
After stepping down as Dropbox’s top global sales executive in July, Hansen has revealed that he has joined Boston-area cybersecurity startup Carbon Black as its chief revenue officer and executive vice president. The Waltham-based company, which provides endpoint security software for over 3,000 customers, announced the hire on Tuesday.
“It’s a large market. It’s continuing to grow,” Hansen told BostInno in an interview.
Hansen’s appointment as Carbon Black’s new top sales executive comes as Dropbox is reportedly inching closer to going public, with the company expected to hire Goldman Sachs as a lead adviser of a potential initial public offering, according to Bloomberg.
“We’d like to see tens of thousands of customers in enterprise space.”
Carbon Black, too, is eventually looking to go public. Patrick Morley, the company’s CEO, has said in past interviews with BostInno and more recently Boston Business Journal that an IPO fits in with the company’s plans. The Wall Street Journal reported last fall that the company made a confidential IPO filing under the Jumpstart Our Businesses Act of 2012, which allows companies with under $1 billion in revenue to make a secret filing.
While Carbon Black has grown a substantial cybersecurity business — 30 of its customers are Fortune 100 companies, and its revenue was over $70 million in 2015 (the company declined to provide more recent numbers) — it is smaller than Dropbox, which Hansen helped grow to a $1 billion annual revenue run rate earlier this year with 500 million users. So why did Hansen jump ship for what is, at least for now, a smaller business?
Hansen’s answer is that he doesn’t think Carbon Black will remain this size much longer and sees a major opportunity for the company on a global scale.
One of the reasons Hansen said he believes Carbon Black is well positioned to become a sustainable, fast-growing and profitable company is that analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester continue to position it as a leader in the endpoint security space. In a Forrester report from last fall, the company was lumped in with other leading endpoint security providers, including Symantec, Sophos and Intel Security.
As Carbon Black’s new top sales leader, Hansen said he will be charged with expand the company’s global footprint, transition the company’s products from on-premise servers to the cloud and scale the company’s sales through partnerships and channels.
“We’d like to see tens of thousands of customers in enterprise space,” said Hansen, who will split time between his home in Washington and Carbon Black’s Waltham headquarters when he’s not traveling the world. “When you want to reach those numbers the only way you can really scale is through digital and partnerships.”
Hansen said 90 percent of Carbon Black’s currents sales happen through partners, which he plans to build upon by enabling partners to provide great customer experiences.
Before he joined Dropbox in 2015, Hansen was a longtime employee at Microsoft, most recently serving as the company’s worldwide vice president of its small- to medium-sized business division, where he led a global sales, marketing and partner management team.