The change is effective immediately, said Jay Parikh, who served as Lacework’s second co-CEO and previously served as Facebook’s vice president of engineering. With the move, Parikh is now the sole chief executive of the privately-held company, an up-and-coming cloud security player that reached an $8.3 billion valuation last year.
Lacework planned to notify employees of the change on Tuesday. Hatfield, who previously served as president of Pure Storage, is stepping down as executive director of Lacework months before his second year with the company.
Under the co-CEO model, Hatfield, nicknamed “Hat,” focused on business operations and the expansion of Lacework, which raised $1.85 billion in funding. Hatfield joined Lacework as CEO and Chairman in early 2021. He could not be immediately reached on Tuesday.
Parikh joined as co-CEO in mid-2021 and focused on product and engineering for the company. The two have known each other for two decades, having previously worked at the same time at Akamai Technologies.
In an interview with Protocol, Parikh called the move planned and amicable, prompted by conversations between “Hat, myself and the board” that led to the conclusion that the co-CEO model was no longer the best fit for the business. Lacework’s management and board have “reviewed where the business is and what it needs to take to the next level” and determined that “unifying the business” under one CEO made the most sense right now, Parikh said.
With respect to Lacework’s product and sales strategy and its relationships with customers, partners, and major public cloud platforms, the move should help “make sure everything is unified. [around] a set of priorities with a single objective,” he said.
Parikh said he doesn’t believe Hatfield has “an immediate plan to jump into anything full-time anytime soon”. Hatfield is “still going to spend a lot of time” on Lacework, Parikh told Protocol.
Jay Parikh, CEO of Lacework
Founded in 2014, Lacework offers a “data-driven” service that aims to stand out in the growing cloud security market by collecting and analyzing data from a client’s cloud environments. The goal is to provide customers with critical security information, such as which threats to prioritize for action, the company said.
The company raised a $525 million funding round in January 2021, followed by an additional $1.3 billion in November 2021 which resulted in a valuation of $8.3 billion. Lacework billed this round as “the largest funding round in the history of the security industry,” and the company ranks third in terms of the largest valuations for private security companies, according to CB Insights.
Lacework is also notable for being only the third company to be incubated from Sutter Hill Ventures, following a model that was used to launch Pure Storage and Snowflake. The Lacework platform supports AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, as well as Kubernetes environments.
In May, Lacework revealed it had laid off 20% of its staff, in response to what the co-CEOs then described as a “seismic shift” in “public and private markets”. The company previously said it had more than 1,000 employees in March and did not immediately have a figure available for its current employee count as of Tuesday.
Prior to Lacework, Hatfield previously spent nearly seven years as president of Pure Storage, followed by 16 months as vice president, according to his LinkedIn. He joined the company as chairman in 2013, a few years after its founding, and remained throughout its IPO and early years as a public company.
While there are no plans to directly replace Hatfield at Lacework, given the unification of CEO roles under Parikh’s leadership, the company plans to hire a chief revenue officer in the near future, Parikh said.
Ultimately, Lacework’s management is focused on taking steps that will allow it “to be successful over 10, 20 years — we’re not building this to be a transaction,” Parikh said.