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Panaseer’s CEO turned Chairman on changing his role

January 07, 2021

Nik Whitfield

Over the last seven years, our founder and CEO, Nik Whitfield, has taken Panaseer from an idea to an enterprise security business with 50+ staff and operations across the globe. The company has raised over $15 million and in 2020 saw its sales increase 350%. Today he switches roles to Chairman and Chief Seer. See, in his words, why he felt now was the time to make the change.

In the last few months, I’ve been asked by friends and family how I feel about passing on the CEO baton at Panaseer. The truth is that I feel excited. It was an easy decision. Panaseer is bigger than me, and the moment I hired our first team member, it was no longer just my company. I’ve always wanted the best for Panaseer, and I feel like I’ve been its custodian since founding it.

Now we’re at a size, shape and trajectory where we need a custodian with a different set of skills and experience. It’s not like handing over my baby, as goes the common analogy, because so many people actively care about the well-being of the company. It’s a case of having the best possible talent in the right roles at the right time.

I always said I’d remain the CEO of Panaseer for as long as I thought I was the best person to do the job. Entering this next phase of growth, I realised there are better qualified people for the role, and my skills are better utilised elsewhere in the business.

I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved to date. Our ambition was audacious – perhaps more audacious than I realised in the early days. I love that we’re a true garage start-up (my basement, actually). Back in the beginning, some talented ex-colleagues and I hatched an idea to build an enterprise security company to solve what I believe is the biggest and longest-running unsolved problem in cyber-security.

In solving this problem, we created the Continuous Controls Monitoring product category and we now deliver our product to companies across the US and Europe. The industry education and the development of the technology has been a great learning experience.  I have enjoyed this challenge hugely and, in the process, recognised where my strengths lie, and where others can enhance them.

Today we have a company with meaningful values, a leading product and recognition by leading analyst companies, such as Gartner. The platform has been validated and refined with enterprises on both sides of the Atlantic, and I’m grateful to all our partners for their support and engagement in creating this new technology. We’ve established operations in Europe and the US and generate millions of dollars of revenue. I couldn’t be prouder of my team for these achievements.

Now we look ahead.

As our strategic focus moves to further scaling the business, the time is right to bring in a proven leader to drive international customer and revenue growth, and so help more companies to know that their safeguards are switched on and working effectively.

We’ve run, what I think is, a structured and diligent process to find the best person to further grow the business, and I’m thrilled that we found Jonathan at the perfect time.

I’m confident that Jonathan is the right person to deliver the next phase of growth. Not only does he have the track record but is overflowing with leadership qualities and demonstrates an excellent fit with the values we’ve worked so hard to establish at Panaseer.

So my overriding emotion is one of excitement – I’m looking forward to my new role and the future prospects for Panaseer and our customers. I’ll be doing what I do best, what I enjoy the most, whilst working closely with Jonathan. Together we can achieve the ambitions we set for Panaseer from the very beginning.