Lookout Inc., a maker of smartphone security software, named entrepreneur and Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) Vice President Jim Dolce as chief executive officer as it seeks to boost growth and woo larger customers.
Co-founder John Hering, 30, will step down as CEO to become executive chairman, San Francisco-based Lookout said today. Dolce, 51, who has been involved in the founding of four technology companies, most recently was at Akamai and has also worked at Juniper Networks Inc. That experience will help Lookout expand its business with corporate customers and mobile-network operators, Hering said.
Lookout, which has more than 50 million users and 200 employees, has raised $131 million from venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. Dolce brings the company needed skills to help manage the next phase of growth, Hering said. Startups often bring in executives with public-company experience when considering an initial public offering. Lookout declined to comment on a possible IPO or its financial details.
“Jim is a key piece in helping set the company up for scale,” Hering said in an interview. “Our primary focus is building the company, and this is another piece of the puzzle to allow the company to do whatever makes sense to take it to the next level.”
Lookout was started in 2007 after co-founders Hering, Chief Technology Officer Kevin Mahaffey, 29, and Chief Information Officer James Burgess, 30, met as undergraduates at the University of Southern California.
While Lookout’s applications are free, the company makes money from premium features that cost $2.99 a month, and its algorithms can be used by mobile operators to spot problems in their networks. The company’s partners include AT&T Inc., Sprint Corp., Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA. (ORA)
Lookout stands to benefit from several shifts in technology, including the move from personal computers to mobile and the need for stronger security, Dolce said.
“Most of the competitors are strapped to a legacy model -- we have no legacy,” said Dolce. “The technology base was built specifically for this post-PC era.” Dolce joined Akamai, which helps corporate customers speed delivery of online content, through its 2012 acquisition of his previous company, Verivue Inc.
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