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Lacework Snags Facebook Engineer Lead Jay Parikh As Co-CEO

Michael Novinson

‘Nobody can do what Jay [Parikh] does better. He is one of the few people in the world who has architected, built, and operated cloud infrastructure at massive scale,’ says Lacework Co-CEO David Hatfield.

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Lacework has brought on longtime Facebook engineering head Jay Parikh to spearhead the cloud security startup’s product, engineering, and infrastructure efforts as co-CEO.

Parikh will team up with current Lacework CEO David “Hat” Hatfield, who joined the San Jose, Calif.-based company in February and will continue overseeing operations, business strategy, business development, and market expansion efforts. Parikh will assume many of the responsibilities held by Dan Hubbard, who was Lacework’s CEO until February and then shifted into the chief product officer role.

“Jay and I have a professional relationship and personal friendship going back more than 20 years,” Hatfield said in a statement. “That type of trust and mutual respect is not only invaluable, it’s a force multiplier as we work together to build Lacework into an iconic security company.”

[Related: The 10 Hottest Cloud Security Startups Of 2021 (So Far)]

Parikh served as Facebook’s vice president of engineering from November 2009 to February 2021, during which time he helped the social media giant grow from 300 million to more than three billion users by scaling Facebook’s data center, server, networking, and subsea cable infrastructure. He also oversaw thousands of the company’s software, data, artificial intelligence, and security systems.

As co-CEO, Parikh will lead Lacework’s growing technology team and research and platform development efforts. Parikh wasn’t immediately available for additional comment.

“Joining Lacework as an advisor gave me a closer look into the potential of the company, and as I learned more, I knew immediately it was something I wanted to be a part of longer term,” Parikh said in a statement. “Lacework’s approach is profoundly different from anything else in the market, and Hat and I are excited … to scale Lacework into the industry’s preferred security platform for the cloud.”

Lacework was founded in 2015, has raised $599 million in four rounds of outside funding, and has almost tripled its headcount over the past year to nearly 600 workers, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. The company has tripled revenue on a year-over-year basis and quintupled the number of new customers it’s working with, with nearly half of new customer wins being competitive takeouts.

Parikh and Hatfield worked together two decades ago at Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai, where Hatfield served as director of U.S. direct sales and Parikh became vice president of engineering. Prior to joining Lacework, Hatfield spent nearly seven years as president of Pure Storage.

At Lacework, Hatfield said he and Parikh will collaborate on big decisions and work together to build the long-term strategy and culture while individually leading the areas where each has the most expertise or needs the most focus. Both Hatfield and Parikh have seen up-close the benefits of a co-CEO structure at companies like Atlassian and Workday, according to Hatfield.

“Nobody can do what Jay does better,” Hatfield wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “He is, simply put, one of the most experienced leaders in the technology industry. His track record, integrity and work ethic are second to none. He is one of the few people in the world who has architected, built, and operated cloud infrastructure at massive scale.”

Conventional security products cannot address the scale, distribution, challenges, and chaos presented by the rapid growth of the cloud, according to Parikh. As a result, Parikh said Lacework can bring its cloud-first approach focused on automation, data, and artificial intelligence to help enterprises strengthen their security posture and build and scale faster.

“While a few really big companies may do this themselves, most don’t have the technology platform, people, experience, or focus,” Parikh wrote on LinkedIn. “We can offer all of this, and that’s what I see as Lacework’s greatest advantage.”

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