FireHost founder Chris Drake announced today that he will be transitioning from CEO to CTO of the fast growing hosting provider.
FireHost is known for it’s “secure cloud” products and has raised a significant amount of money to date. Replacing Drake as CEO is Jim Lewandowski, an industry veteran with significant operational experience.
“I made the decision to become CTO because technology innovation has always been my passion,” said Drake. “The need for security in the cloud is the most critical priority in the industry. This leadership change allows FireHost to double down on innovation to help customers capitalize on it faster. Jim’s industry expertise, business sense and socket fit with our culture make it possible for me to reinforce the company’s innovation engines while he continues our rapid growth to even higher levels. This leadership change comes at the right stage of FireHost’s history, and we believe that the company is positioned extremely well.”
Very few founding CEOs (especially the more technical ones) stay in the position for the life of the company. This transition generally occurs when a company goes from startup to true growth/operations stage.
Lewandowski is a seasoned cloud and security veteran, bringing with him more than 25 years of executive leadership with companies like Rackspace, McAfee, Yahoo!, BMC Software, and IBM. He was most recently a senior vice president and general manager at Rackspace before establishing a technology consulting business.
Drake, who founded FireHost in 2009 and launched its secure cloud in 2011, has served as CEO since its inception. During his tenure, he led the technology development in addition to establishing its business presence around the world – a presence that has grown immensely in various industries, such as healthcare, retail, financial services, and the public sector. Along the way, the company has doubled revenue in each of the past three years.
FireHost has been a great startup story in Dallas, which has a long history of hosting providers (including Softlayer, acquired by IBM for $2B). We wish the company well as it continues to grow and expand.