Carbon Black is excited about our recent expansion to the West Coast, first with our new office in Oregon and now with our office in Boulder, Colorado. These locations allow us to tap into markets with exceptional talent and expand our teams. Additionally, it’s provided internal mobility opportunities for those at our Waltham HQ.
Shawn Leonard, senior manager of inside sales, talks about his big move to Colorado this April and the plans for our growth on the West Coast.
Why Did You Decide to Make the Move?
I’ve always enjoyed travelling and been open to new experiences. After I finished college, I spent a year in Germany playing football. This was a life-changing moment for me. Being immersed into another culture gave me the opportunity to learn a new value system, which forced me outside of my comfort zone. It helped me see the world through a new lens. Even now, my wife and I love to travel and try to find opportunities to experience new things whenever we can.
With the new office opening in Boulder, I thought it was a great option for us to consider. Colorado had always been on our list as a potential place to live and it fits with our outdoorsy lifestyle. I figured, why not go for it?
From the business side of thing, there really is no downside. When I first started at Carbon Black (formerly Bit9), we were only 170 people. Now over 1,000 people and growing, being a part of the build out of our sales organization was a tremendous experience. There couldn’t be a stronger team headed out to Boulder and I’m pumped to be a part it, all while having the opportunity to grow my career. My goal was to eventually run the sales organization in some capacity and now I’ll be able to gain additional skills needed as we do that for our Boulder team.
What Are Your Goals for Boulder?
In regards to the office and teams, we’ll be focused on building out our sales organization there. We’ll be bringing nearly 20 Boston/Waltham-based sales people to the Boulder office and leveraging those experiences to help us grow the team. Our approach is to find a cadence that stays true to Carbon Black but also get buy-in from the Boulder-based people we’ll be hiring.
Pertaining to my career, it’s an opportunity to expand my management and leadership skills by being a senior leader on the floor. I’ll be the go-to person in the office and will be tasked with elevating the office culture. After being at the company for five years and being part of the growth, I’ve been deeply engrained in the company culture. I’ll be able to bring that over to Boulder so there’s consistency with what we see at our Waltham HQ and so our teams feel connected and aligned. I’ll also be able to infuse the Coloradian culture into what’s established and give the Boulder office its own unique flair. It will be a bit of Carbon Black and a bit of Boulder. I’m excited to see how that develops.
We want to replicate the success we’ve had with our SDR programs and sales organization at the Waltham HQ but I know the growth will be heavily invested in Boulder going forward, so it’s important to understand how this demographic of sales people work to ensure success.
Why Is Boulder a Good Choice to Grow Out Sales?
We have a great support system out there already. We have around 25 Carbon Black people in the area, mainly from the R&D side. This includes Tarun Reddy, VP of product infrastructure & operations, Jim Treinen, VP of threat, and Serina Clark, senior director of business operations. They’re all strong leaders at the company and I’m excited to work closely with them. It will be a unique experience.
Overall, we knew Boulder would be a great place to open an office. We looked to expand our West Coast presence and this seemed like the right choice. There’s a ton of tech out there with plenty of smart, innovative people moving to the area every day. In addition to this talent pool, there are also some great colleges and universities in the area that could provide perfect hires for our entry-level sales roles.
Boulder has a lot of traction right now without the burn and churn you see in places like Silicon Valley. We knew we could find quality talent here but the competition wouldn’t be so fierce that we’d lose talent within a few months of getting them. Being able to keep these loyal people would help us build out the office culture, which is very important.
Why Should Someone Join Our Team?
The vision and mission of the company is outstanding and the cybersecurity market is exciting. When developing your career, being in a hot market in a growing company is the place to be.
Carbon Black really treats its people well. They’re people-focused and invest in their employees so they can succeed. We’re dedicated to maximizing our top talent and we do it well. I can’t tell you how many of our sales people have grown in their professional career because of it.
From a sales perspective, we have amazing onboarding and training programs. Our SDR program is focused on helping our entry-level sales professionals get the knowledge, tools, and support they need to move up in their career. I also think there’s a unique experience for all our sales people in Boulder because it’s a smaller office. They’ll be more integrated in the office and can build relationships with people in departments like R&D. It will make it easier for them to pick their brains and learn faster.
Another interesting aspect is that we have a startup mentality (which I think we’ll notice even more in a smaller office like Boulder) but you don’t necessarily have the risk that comes with a startup. We’re an established organization that’s a leader with a great reputation in the cybersecurity space but we’re also moving fast and adapting to change. It keeps things fresh and interesting.
I’m ecstatic about this opportunity. It’s been an amazing experience to be part of our growth on the east coast and now I get to do it in Colorado. It’s going to be quite an adventure but I’m up for the challenge.