When the first few employees at Carbon Black began solving threats in the cybersecurity space in Massachusetts during the early aughts, they probably never imagined the company’s footprint would eventually span the globe, reaching Singapore, Japan and the U.K.
Now, with nearly two decades of endpoint security under its belt, Carbon Black’s engine runs at full throttle. And that includes an ever-growing office in Colorado. We spoke with four members of the team in Boulder to learn how they manage company goals while surging ahead and rapidly expanding.
EMPLOYEES: 995 (83 local)
WHAT THEY DO: Carbon Black is a leading provider of next-generation endpoint security, leveraging breakthrough prevention technology to instantly see and stop cyber attacks before they execute.
NOTABLE CLIENTS: Samsung, MLB and NHL
PERKS: Along with a flexible vacation policy, the company offers career development programs.
ON THE RISE: Recently, Carbon Black has been adding an average of 300 employees each year.
LEADING THE CHARGE: Carbon Black’s VP of threat is working with his team to transform cybersecurity. Learn more.
Shawn Leonard, Senior Manager, Inside Sales
Shawn Leonard manages a team of eight sales reps who cover the west region for commercial business.
BEYOND WORK: Shawn prefers to be active in the outdoors, whether that means he’s skiing, hiking, playing sports or traveling to new locations.
How has Carbon Black grown since you joined the team?
I started when Carbon Black had about 170 people, and now we’re on the way to being more than 1,000 employees. We’ve grown from a small, nimble company trying to make a splash to a known force and leader in the endpoint space. We definitely need to put more processes in place as we scale, but our leadership has continued to focus on the people while keeping a startup feel, which has been great.
There is nothing better than working with an individual and being a positive part of their story as they grow and meet their goals."
What about your company or your work inspires you?
The vision to keep the world safe from cyberattacks puts great meaning into our work. There are also the great people I work with. There is nothing better than working with an individual and being a positive part of their story as they grow and meet their goals.
How has the company supported your career growth?
I started as a sales rep, moved to management and then moved across the country to be a part of a growing office. This has been a great place to build my career as well as gain skills a lot faster than I would elsewhere. I’m passionate about growing great teams and Carbon Black has provided that opportunity, and more.
Christie Gidumal, Associate Inside Sales Representative
Christie Gidumal consults with businesses in Northern California to determine their IT security needs — and how Carbon Black solutions can make their lives easier.
BEYOND WORK: Christie unwinds by combining a meditative practice with hiking.
In your opinion, what makes your office culture special?
When the Boulder office opened, we were mostly Colorado residents, but shortly after, a ton of employees moved out here from our Boston office. The culture has evolved as we’ve either explored Colorado as a brand new resident or seen it through their eyes. We have a hiking club, fly fishing club and recently ran a Spartan race together.
How have you collaborated with other offices to build out the sales team in Boulder?
We interact with engineers from our headquarters in Waltham, Mass., every day to tag team meetings with clients and potential clients, and comb our internal social website, Beehive, for updates on the market.
Additionally, our departments are always updating us on the threat landscape and the industry to be sure we’re armed with the most current information to protect our clients. The sales teams in the other offices have been extremely helpful in answering our team’s questions, from process to pitches. We communicate via Slack or Skype, and they’re always open for shadowing and debriefing situations. For those of us newer to sales it’s been a lifesaver.
Our departments are always updating us on the threat landscape and the industry to be sure we’re armed with the most current information to protect our clients."
What were some of the biggest challenges as you built out the new team in Boulder?
One of the biggest challenges, and one of the most rewarding parts of the job, has been learning how to support one another. Some of us came from a tech background, but since the security landscape changes so quickly and so drastically, it’s difficult to stay on top of the volumes of information without a community for support.
Also, as we were building out the team and things were changing constantly, I prepared by talking with people from other offices who were recently promoted in sales. Building out the team here was difficult and a situation I had never encountered before, but sales is made of situations never encountered before, so it actually prepared me for the role.
Tarun Reddy, SVP, Engineering & Operations
Tarun Reddy manages the engineers who develop the Carbon Black product suite, both the back-end components as well as software-installed customer desktops and servers. His operations teams are responsible for maintaining and running the cloud products.
BEYOND WORK: Tarun enjoys traveling internationally with his family and snowboarding with his eight-year-old son.
How has your leadership style evolved since you joined Carbon Black?
When I was younger I often focused purely on solving technical problems. As I’ve grown, I’ve realized that some of the best ideas often get squashed in the market because of non-technical issues. Focusing instead on execution effectiveness and conflict resolution will often lead to a healthier organization and commercial success. When combined with great engineering talent, that focus can overcome almost any obstacle.
Your team is working toward big goals right now. How do you prevent burnout?
For us to be successful, we need to take opportunities to go above and beyond our normal duties. This means potentially working long hours to meet commitments. But that also means we should take time to recover so that we can be prepared for the next time we are called upon to go above and beyond. I insist people take vacation and not feel guilty about it. We are in it for the long haul, so we can’t burn out our employees. And while some may think you don’t survive in this industry with that approach, I don’t think you survive without it.
In five years we’ll have expanded our market to cover security needs for our customers that go beyond endpoint security."
What’s in Carbon Black’s future?
I expect in one year Carbon Black will be one of two serious competitors in the enterprise endpoint security market. In five years we’ll have expanded our market to cover security needs for our customers that go beyond endpoint security.