Having just turned 30, John Hering is hardly ripe for retirement.
But the founder of mobile security firm Lookout does think the time is right for his company to bring in a more experienced hand to lead the business. On Thursday, Lookout is announcing it has hired former Juniper Networks executive Jim Dolce as CEO.
“Taking the company to the next phase of growth is going to require a different set of skills,” Hering told Re/code in a telephone interview on Thursday.
Hering will shift to executive chairman, focusing on strategic partnerships, long-term planning and engagement with the security community. And, he insists, definitely not retiring.
It’s a pretty common move for young founders to eventually bring in “adult supervision,” though Hering said he didn’t set out to hire a replacement.
Several months ago, Hering decided that he had more than he wanted on his plate and began looking for a chief operating officer to report to him as the well-funded company started branching into new areas, including security software for businesses.
Dolce, meanwhile, didn’t set out looking for a job at Lookout. A serial entrepreneur with four of his own startups under his belt, Dolce was introduced to Hering late last year by Accel partner Ping Li. The idea was that Lookout was doing more work with carriers and perhaps Dolce could do some consulting around those issues.
At the same time, Hering said he had come to realize the company needed more than just an operations guy.
“It became clear to me we didn’t just need another executive,” Hering said. “We needed another founder.”
That’s what Hering says he hopes to have in Dolce, someone who can keep the company growing.
For his part, Dolce says it is exciting to be at a startup without having to do all that early stuff like raise initial funding and identify the business plan.
“It’s an impressive company,” Dolce said, noting it is at the intersection of some of the hottest areas in technology — mobile, security, big data and the cloud. “Any one of those would have been attractive.”