Category: Top Management
Name: Tom Kemp
Title: Co-founder & CEO
Why nominated: Tom Kemp is leading the charge to end the password chaos once and for all and has built a fast-growing cybersecurity company to execute that vision.
Profile: With 90 percent of all enterprises moving to the cloud, and billions of users accessing data across millions of applications, identities living in and out of the enterprise must be protected. Is it any wonder that Tom Kemp has become passionate about eliminating what he sees as one simple yet vulnerable permission – the password? He’s leading the charge to kill the password and implement next-level security technologies like multifactor authentication.
Known for taking a longer-term view of business, Kemp made a conscious decision not to raise more funding for Centrify but rather to make the company profitable, allowing more dollars to be pumped into R&D and more focus to be trained on the customer’s priorities.
Before founding Centrify, Kemp, who holds a B.S. in computer science and history from the University of Michigan, held various executive, technical and marketing roles at NetIQ Corporation, Compuware Corporation, EcoSystems Software and Oracle Corporation. Kemp was also an Entrepreneur in Residence at leading venture capital firm Mayfield.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and History from the University of Michigan.
What colleagues say: “Tom is committed to stopping today’s costliest and most detrimental breaches. He believes in his mission to stop breaches and has created an organization that is committed to it on every level. Early on he was visionary in focusing on identity as the key to better security. At the time, it was an unorthodox and perhaps an even risky bet, but today it is paying off as we see the security perimeter disintegrating, creating an environment in which identities are the access point. Tom has always been a pioneer in his approach to market, so when he made the decision to build and grow a profitable company instead of becoming the next unicorn, he went counter to modern Silicon Valley thinking. And yet even without that standard valley carrot, he is still able to attract great talent and motivate employees around the core business – and it’s refreshing. Centrify’s success and continued growth is due to Tom’s leadership and his tireless efforts to create a business that has great purpose and is doing something of value.”
– Paul Moore, co-founder and chief technology officer at Centrify