The Established Start-Up and Lessons Learned: Sam King, CEO of Veracode

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At the MassTLC Executive Forum on January 31st, five CEOs from Massachusetts growth companies will share the most important lessons that they have learned as leaders. Catch a sneak peek from Veracode CEO, Sam King, below.

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Challenges overcome:

Sam KingThe established start-up is so rare that most business leaders will never encounter one in their career. They pose a unique challenge – they have established customers, the market already has a perception of the business, there are established business processes that may be working or not. They must also rebuild the company after a major transition or change. It may be that the company is changing direction in terms of strategy or even its market. It may be that the company has turned over its entire leadership team. Or it could be that the company has changed ownership hands.

In the case of Veracode, the company underwent not one, but two, acquisition in an 18-month period, and then was once again spun out as an independent company. The 13-year-old business needed to continue its normal operations. However, during the time of the acquisitions, they had integrated into their parent company, which meant they also had to go about re-hiring an entire executive staff, as well as building out its employee and financial systems, all while maintaining our rapid growth and achieving our business goals. We accomplished this by restoring the team’s sense of agency, putting them back in control of their destiny, in a time when it felt like they had no control.

Opportunities leveraged:

The world is changing, and digital innovations are leading this transformation. Software has changed the way we communicate, the way we do commerce, the way we think about providing healthcare, how we govern and run our elections and communities. However, our biggest catalyst for change is also our biggest source of vulnerability – and customers are aware of this.

High profile breaches have caused many to have their identity stolen, and in some cases caused personal damage that will take years to undo. The pain felt by consumers has shone a bright light on the security of the products they buy, the software they use and the applications they use to interact with enterprises. There is a crisis of confidence, and if an organization can’t demonstrate its trustworthiness, consumers will switch to working with companies in which they have confidence will protect their data. Which is why we’ve created ways for companies to demonstrate they are serious about security with our Verified program. The Verified programs provides software creators with third-party attestation that they have secure software development practices in place.

Join us on January 31st to hear Sam’s thoughts on these and other challenges facing company leaders.