Today, I am excited to share that we have added yet another stellar member to the Yubico leadership team: Wendy Spies. Wendy comes from Microsoft where she most recently directed engineering strategy and business development for cloud and AI to build new products and markets. She will be focusing on similar things here at Yubico in the role of SVP of New Business with an initial focus on YubiHSM.
Wendy has more than 23 years of experience building everything from payment and hardware solutions to games and software. She has taken seven notable companies from conception to financial exit and has a long and proven track record of driving exponential growth for companies, teams, and products. Her secret? “Working with and hiring folks that are a lot smarter than me, focusing on customer needs, and measuring our success by delivering extraordinary products efficiently.”
It’s safe to say that we are lucky to have Wendy on board, and I am personally excited about the expansion of strong female leadership here at Yubico. Please join me in welcoming Wendy into the YubiFamily. To learn a little more about her background, expertise, and vision for Yubico, here is an excerpt from a recent interview between Ronnie Manning, our SVP of Communications, and Wendy.
What led you to join Yubico?
Yubico was the right choice for me because each person I met with was clearly in the learning zone. Collaboration is high, and the customer focus is turned up to eleven.
I believe that every day, one step at a time, Yubico can make the world better through product development, new standards, growing partnerships, and excellent teamwork. In the end, it wasn’t about joining a big or small company, consumer or enterprise — it was about relentless customer focus and knowing that I was joining a team that would always have my back. This is the recipe for making profound, positive change the world, creating a lot of value, and having a really fabulous time doing it. I hope everyone finds their Yubico.
In your opinion, what makes a team successful?
Throughout my career, I’ve found that there are two simple criteria that seem to bring the magic at work.
Build a team that 1) you would want to fight the zombie apocalypse with — this takes talent, passion, and opportunity and 2) is relentlessly focused on driving customer value.
When you bring together talent, passion, and opportunity, you are in the zone nearly every day at work, but that doesn’t always guarantee success. You must also ensure that the team is relentlessly focused on driving customer value. Are these individuals in a learning mode? Do they come from a humble point of inquiry and are they prepared to truly listen when you answer? And are they actively talking about customers and partners?
When I focus on the customer with a team of folks who have a listening and iterative mindset, we build unique customer experiences, solve wicked hard problems, and create so much value for users. Everyone wins: employees, customers, and investors.
What do you look forward to most during your time here at Yubico?
I am proud to be part of a team at Yubico that’s securing the net for everyone and everything. We know that the only way we can do that is to make security truly easy to use.
I look forward to the passwordless future we are building. I look forward to working across boundaries to solve some of the hardest problems of the internet. I look forward to no longer hearing stories about good folks getting their accounts hacked because passwords stink, and because hackers continue to have more resources than we do. I look forward to no longer hearing stories about devices and data being compromised because solutions are so complex that it is almost impossible to think of all of the threats, and even more impossible to remove them. And lastly, I look forward to the day when everyone can believe and see that security and usability can live together hand-in-hand. Strong vision. Clear plan. Sustained effort.
What do you see as the biggest market opportunity for the YubiHSM product line and how do you envision driving its growth?
I see the YubiHSM as a natural extension of our YubiKey product line for devices and data. As a lot of folks know, anywhere a key is stored and even remotely available for others, it is at risk of being stolen — either by people on the inside of an organization, or sometimes even on the outside. The YubiHSM is a portable, low-cost solution. It can help with everything from code signing and protecting API calls to securing root of trust for something as complex as industrial IoT environments, something as legacy-bound as physical infrastructure (e.g. reactors and dams), and something as simple as cold wallets. While a few other solutions like secure enclaves and SGX could be used to solve this problem, YubiHSM provides protection for your keys in hardware that is physically isolated from operations on the server, creating yet another layer of security. This layer of security, combined with a simple, small attack surface form factor, can make it easier to adopt this technology without breaking the bank.
When you’re not busy changing the world and driving businesses and teams toward success, what do you do for fun?
I love to engage in activities that require such deep concentration that I cannot possibly worry about the problems of the world or what to make for dinner. This ranges from the beautiful shared moments with my family playing board games to spending time early in the morning in my tiny garage throwing heavy weights into the air.
The Yubico team will continue to grow! If you’re interested in a career in cybersecurity at Yubico, check out our open job opportunities here.