A new CEO who has grown and sold cybersecurity companies will be the next leader at Webroot Inc.
Dick Williams, the Broomfield-based company’s president and CEO for the past eight years, will retire from those positions but remain a member of its board.
Privately held Webroot’s board hired Mike Potts to replace Williams as CEO, effective Sept. 25, the company said today. He’ll also join the board.
Potts most recently was a security executive at with Cisco Systems Inc., the networking technologies giant.
In 2015, Cisco acquired the Atlanta-based cyber security company Potts led, spending $452 million on the deal. That company, called Lancope, grew more than 600 percent under Potts’ leadership.
Potts said he’s joining Webroot because he believes in its strategy and products.
“The urgent need for cybersecurity and threat intelligence is increasing daily,” Potts said via email. “Under my leadership, Webroot will continue to focus on providing the most innovative and reliable cyber security solutions and threat intelligence for consumers; small businesses and managed service providers; and embedded security providers.”
Potts previously had been CEO of technology companies AirDefense and ClickFox. He will be based out Webroot’s Broomfield headquarters.
Webroot’s business will look much the same, and Potts’ goal is to accelerate the company’s growth.
“We have no plans for organizational changes,” Potts said. “When it comes down to it, the people and culture Dick built here is the main reason I decided to join Webroot.”
Webroot sells consumer and business cybersecurity products. The company started in Boulder in the late 1990s and grew on the strength of best-selling Spysweeper desktop anti-spyware product.
It has evolved into selling security products protecting more than 210,000 businesses and thousands of companies that manage IT services for businesses as well as to consumers.
Williams, a former IBM executive, came to Webroot in 2009 from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel Partners. Williams oversaw Webroot’s transformation to offering cloud-based cybersecurity that extended beyond desktop computers to mobile phones and internet-connected devices.
Webroot replaced its existing lines of cybersecurity products, all based on technologies it licensed from other companies, and built new security products based on Webroot intellectual property.
Webroot acquired a handful of other companies that added new capabilities to the cyber protections it sells. The company also trimmed its staff to a little over 300 people, arriving at what Williams described as a capable, dedicated team.
It has since grown to employ about 600 people.
“I am honored to have helped build and lead the incredibly talented Webroot team for the past eight years,” Williams said. “I am proud of each of them, how they developed, and all we collectively accomplished.”
The private company doesn’t release revenue figures, but says it has grown by double digits for 14 consecutive quarters.
“Dick has been a tremendous CEO for Webroot, and when he decided to retire we looked for a leader who could build on his legacy of disruptive cyber security innovation and reliable business execution,” said Jake Reynolds, a Webroot board member. “Mike’s exceptional leadership talent and his over 25-year track record of driving innovation and growth at technology companies make him the right choice to take Webroot to the next level of success.”