Jonathan Chadwick, a British cybersecurity industry veteran who most recently served as the chief financial officer and chief operating officer of VMware (VMW), has joined the board of directors at Tanium, the world’s highest valued cybersecurity startup.
Chadwick’s appointment began on April 1, one month after he departed EMC’s cloud software giant. On a phone call with Fortune, Chadwick declined to comment on Dell’s impending EMC (EMC) takeover, although insiders believe his decision to step down was related to that $67 billion deal.
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“When I heard the team [at Tanium] was looking to expand the board, I really went for it in terms of pursuing it as an opportunity,”said Chadwick, who five years ago joined the board of F5 Networks (FFIV), a public cybersecurity firm that provides software to data centers. In the past, Chadwick served as the finance chief at a number of high profile companies, including Skype leading up to its acquisition by Microsoft (MSFT) in 2011, at McAfee leading up to its acquisition by Intel (INTC) that same year, and earlier at Cisco (CSCO).
Chadwick said that he’s looking to advise a small number of companies at this point in his career, though he declined to name others. “I do believe that Tanium is at this incredible intersection of cybersecurity and systems management, which makes it a hot property,” he said. Indeed, Tanium has raised more than $300 million dollars over the course of its nine-year existence at a $3.7 billion valuation, ranking it at number 28 on Fortune’s list of billion-dollar “unicorn” startups (and leader of the cybersecurity subcategory).
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“We’re thrilled to add Jonathan to the Tanium board,” Orion Hindawi, CEO of Tanium, told Fortune. “His first hand experience growing and managing world class enterprise software companies will be invaluable in our quest to build the next great enterprise software platform. In addition, Jonathan’s deep understanding of security as a board level issue will serve us well as we provide essential counsel to board members at other companies on how they can protect their most important assets.”
Tanium recently released the results of a survey centered on cybersecurity expertise in corporate boardrooms as well. The firm conducted the poll of 1,530 top execs, chief officers, and board members in coordination with Nasdaq (NDAQ). It found that the leadership of companies most vulnerable and unprepared to address digital threats overwhelmingly admit they don’t know how to read cybersecurity reports.
“That’s the functional equivalent of not being able to read a financial statement,” Hindawi said. “People can’t do the oversight they need to do.”
Louis Modano, chief information security officer at Nasdaq, added that “the main call-out of this research report shows why readiness is so important for cybersecurity.”