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VP of Engineering - Internet Security Startup

at Nok Nok Labs in Palo Alto, CA   —   Jul 13, 2014   |  
Reporting to the CEO, the Vice President of Engineering for Nok Nok Labs will lead a globally distributed engineering organization in building products that are designed to solve the inherent problems that have existed within the authentication space for years.

S/he will be responsible for all aspects of product design, development, test and technology implementation for the business. As the leader of the engineering team, S/he will work closely with the Products & Business Development teams to collaboratively specify and build high quality products that meet market and customer needs – on time and within budget.

A core focus of the VPE is the creation of an authentication platform embodied by the products, protocol standards, partnerships and distribution of the products s/he is delivering. The clients will be bundled into millions of devices (PCs and Mobile) and the servers are expected to scale and function inside some of the world’s largest Web infrastructures. S/he will also be a key stakeholder with the CTO and VP Products in the invention and creation of forward-looking products and prototypes that will extend the business of the company.

The VPE will be accountable for recruiting, retention and operation of a world-class team of engineers and security professionals and for defining the processes and metrics by which they operate. For the first 24 months, this is largely an in-bound role bootstrapping the team, products and processes necessary to launch the company. The VPE is expected to implement by example a culture of transparency and accountability and to build a “can-do” collaborative culture based on performance, quality, creativity and prudent risk-taking.

A well-qualified candidate will have held the VPE role before and will meet multiple of the criteria outlined below:

Required for success:

Strong understanding of the modern computing stack and its evolution, hands-on experience building products in at least one infrastructure portion of the stack (e.g. Security, Networking, Virtualization, Web Services, Operating System etc.)
Have recent experience [3-5 years] in crafting and growing a 1.0 product, taking it through maturation and market adoption. S/he will have experience running multiple product development streams and using distributed teams (on-shore, offshore and contract).
Strong leadership skills that can be a beacon for talent. Ability to staff through personal rolodex. Function as coach/mentor as staff grows both at HQ and in other locations.
Career experience as Engineering Executive in an early-stage (preferably Series A) startup during the last ten years. Experience crafting plans and forecasts in early stage, high risk, low certainty environments and adept at crafting work strategy to eliminate uncertainty and risk.
Function as a senior executive who can represent company at board and customer meetings when required. Management maturity reflective of experience managing through early stage startup environments.

Helpful but not required:

Working experience and first-hand knowledge of Agile methodologies, Quality and Release processes that span external technology and distribution partners. Prior experience in working with OEMs and managing multi-platform development economically would be helpful. Experience with modern mobile systems (last 3+ years) helpful.
Strong aesthetic sense in the design of products and systems and desire to take ownership of end-user experience for a product that could touch hundreds of millions of users.
Exposure to security industry in general and Strong Authentication in particular either directly through product creation or through professional IT implementation.
Experience working with standards bodies and consortia in connection with taking IP through a standardization process while retaining proprietary advantages in extensions and implementation.

Position is based in Palo Alto, C
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