David Hatfield has stepped down as co-CEO of cloud security vendor Lacework but will remain on the company's board of directors, Protocol has learned.
The change is effective immediately, said Jay Parikh, who had been Lacework's second co-CEO and was previously Facebook's vice president of engineering. With the change, Parikh is now the sole chief executive of the privately held company, a prominent up-and-coming player in cloud security that last year achieved a valuation of $8.3 billion.
Lacework planned to inform employees of the change on Tuesday. Hatfield, who previously served as president at Pure Storage, leaves Lacework's executive leadership a few months shy of his second year with the company.
As part of the co-CEO model, Hatfield, who goes by the nickname "Hat," focused on business operations and expansion at Lacework, which has raised $1.85 billion in funding. Hatfield joined Lacework as CEO and chairman in early 2021. He could not immediately be reached Tuesday.
Parikh joined as co-CEO in mid-2021, and has focused on product and engineering for the company. The two have known each other for two decades, having previously worked at the same time at Akamai Technologies.
In an interview with Protocol, Parikh characterized the move as planned and amicable, prompted by conversations between "Hat, myself, and the board" that led to the conclusion that the co-CEO model was no longer the best fit for the company. Lacework's executive leadership and board have been "looking at where the business is and what it needs to get to the next level," and have determined that "unifying the company" under a single CEO made the most sense right now, Parikh said.
When it comes to Lacework's product and sales strategy and its relationships with customers, partners, and the big public cloud platforms, the move should help with "making sure that's all unified [around] one set of priorities with one focus," he said.
Parikh said he doesn't believe Hatfield has "any immediate plan to go jump into anything full-time anytime soon." Hatfield is "still going to be spending a good amount of time" on Lacework, Parikh told Protocol.
Lacework CEO Jay Parikh Image: Lacework
Founded in 2014, Lacework offers a "data-driven" service that aims to stand out in the fast-growing cloud security market by collecting and analyzing data from across a customer's cloud environments. The goal is to to provide customers with crucial security insights, such as which threats to prioritize for action, the company has said.
The company raised a $525 million funding round in January 2021, followed by an additional $1.3 billion in funding in November 2021 that brought with it the $8.3 billion valuation. Lacework touted that round as "the largest funding round in security industry history," and the company ranks at No. 3 in terms of the biggest valuations for privately held security companies, according to CB Insights.
Lacework is also notable for having been just the third company to be incubated out of Sutter Hill Ventures, following a model that was used to launch Pure Storage and Snowflake. The Lacework platform supports AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, as well as Kubernetes environments.
In May, Lacework disclosed that it had laid off 20% of its staff, in response to what the co-CEOs then described as a "seismic shift" in "both the public and private markets." The company had previously reported having more than 1,000 employees as of March, and did not immediately have a figure available for its current employee count on Tuesday.
Prior to Lacework, Hatfield had previously spent nearly seven years as president at Pure Storage followed by 16 months as its vice chair, according to his LinkedIn. He joined the company as president in 2013, a few years into its founding, and stayed on through its initial public offering and its first several years as a public company.
While there are no plans to directly replace Hatfield at Lacework, given the unification of the CEO duties under Parikh's leadership, the company does plan to hire a chief revenue officer in the near future, Parikh said.
Ultimately, Lacework's leadership is focusing on making moves that will set it up "to be successful over 10, 20 years — we're not building this to be a transaction," Parikh said.