Sources: Tanium COO-CFO Leaves Company Suddenly, Despite IPO Plans On Horizon

Tanium's chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Eric Brown, left the company suddenly last week, sources close to the company told CRN.

Brown's exit comes as the Emeryville, Calif.-based company looks to lay the groundwork for an initial public offering.

Tanium confirmed Brown's departure in an email to CRN, but said Brown left on "good terms."

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"Eric has been a vital part of building Tanium to this point, and we're all deeply grateful for what he has contributed. He remains close to the company and will continue to advise us as needed. Eric has built a strong team with strong leaders, and business continues as usual," CEO Orion Hindawi said in an emailed statement to CRN about the departure.

Brown declined to comment when reached directly by CRN.

Tanium said it will look to hire a new CFO when the company finds the right candidate.

Hindawi launched Tanium in 2007 with his father, David Hindawi, who is executive chairman. The two co-founded the company after selling a previous company, BigFix, to IBM in 2010. Tanium's peer-to-peer technology lets organizations continuously scan all endpoints in a network to detect vulnerabilities and unmanaged devices. The technology is important as companies look to ramp up their security and management of endpoint devices, which Tanium helps discover and secure.

Over the past few years, Tanium has been regarded as one of the hottest startups in the security space, raising a total of $262 million, with the latest round of $120 million in September 2016 reportedly coming at a valuation of $3.5 billion. Sources have told CRN that the company also saw acquisition bids from both VMware and Palo Alto Networks in late 2016, with the latter company bidding in excess of $3 billion.

Brown's exit comes at Tanium looks to march toward the next phase of its growth: its initial public offering. In an interview with CRN last year, Hindawi said he believes the next step for Tanium is to go public, rather than pursue an acquisition.

"I think our path is to go public," Hindawi told CRN. He also told the Financial Times in October that the company would look to go public in the next 18 months and will look to start filing paperwork for an IPO early this year.

Tanium told CRN that "nothing has changed" from the company's previous statements about an initial public offering, with a company spokesperson saying, "We have not begun any formal process" toward an IPO.

Brown's exit is the latest in a series of top-level departures at Tanium in recent months, including CMO Jennifer Johnson in August and President of Global Sales & Field Operations Michael Carpenter in September, as well as multiple VP-level channel executives. It does not appear that Tanium has replaced Carpenter, but has named former Chief Communications Officer Scott Rubin as CMO.

Brown joined Tanium in April 2014 from Polycom, where he was CFO and COO from 2012 to 2014. Prior to that, he was CFO at Electronic Arts, CFO and COO at McAfee and CFO and president at MicroStrategy. He left Polycom in 2014 after the company eliminated the COO position to "streamline the organization and continue its focus on driving operating performance."