Two months after raising a batch of new venture capital funding, Okta, the cloud software company that helps companies simplify and track the login information of their employees, is staffing up in the senior ranks again.
Okta has hired Andrew Wittman, the former chief marketing officer at CA Technologies, as its new CMO.
Okta CEO Todd McKinnon says hiring a CMO coincides with a moment that Okta has to start telling a “bigger story” about itself. Having risen from fairly humble beginnings but big plans, it secured the first cloud software investment ever by the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz in 2010. Since then it has landed a combined $155 million in investments, including a $75 million round led by Sequoia in June, and reached an implied valuation of about $600 million.
Wittman landed at CA Technologies by way of its 2006 acquisition of Wily Technologies, where he had worked for Lew Cirne, now the CEO of New Relic. He stayed around and became chief of staff to CA’s then-CEO Bill McCracken, and was named CMO in 2012.
“The time it took to make this hire gave me a chance to think about what we need to do from a marketing perspective,” McKinnon said. “The story needs to get bigger and by bigger I mean it has to indicate that we do more for the customer. Traditionally our approach has been to say that we solve a certain set of problems. Now we essentially define the market for identity-as-a-service.”
Companies have embraced multiple types of cloud services and applications to run their businesses, such as Salesforce.com, Workday, ServiceNow and Marketo. More than 1,500 companies have tapped Okta, based in San Francisco, to manage what’s often called the “identity layer” — user names, passwords and other credentials required to access various cloud apps. Okta provides a single sign-on capability that facilitates the granting and removing of access to the many Web services that a company might use. So far this year, customers like Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios and Lucasfilm, the Public Broadcasting Service and the Mozilla Corporation have all signed on as customers. It now has more than 10 million end users at those customer companies.
McKinnon said he’d still like the company to go public someday, but doesn’t expect to do it this year or next. “It probably won’t happen next year, but you never know. We’ll have to see what the markets are doing,” he said.
Wittman is the second senior hire at Okta this year. In February it hired Krista Anderson, a former Salesforce exec as its first chief customer officer.
Correction: I earlier had Okta’s most recent funding round led by Kleiner Perkins. It was Sequoia. Sorry about that.