Okta has announced its new vice president and GM for the EMEA region. Taking the reigns, Jesper Frederiksen brings more than 25 years of sales, technology and leadership experience to Okta. Most recently, he spent four years with DocuSign, leading the company’s expansion across EMEA as vice president and general manager. Prior to DocuSign, Frederiksen held various leadership roles at Parallels, Symantec, Google and NetIQ.
Frederiksen said that he was excited by the opportunity at hand. “If you’ve worked in technology as I have for the past 25 years (most recently leading the expansion of DocuSign’s business in EMEA), you know the importance of what we’re doing at Okta,” he said. “You’ve seen companies push to digitize and transform their customers’ experiences, and realized that every application needs authentication and authorization. You’ve likely run into hurdles when moving to the cloud, bringing on various applications and enabling your mobile workforce with devices. These challenges, and Okta’s opportunity to solve them, make me excited to join Okta as Vice President and General Manager, EMEA.”
He added: “If you, like me, have had your identity stolen, you understand the value of identity management on a more personal level. Just last month, I was notified that someone had applied for and obtained multiple credit cards and bank loans using my personal information, thereby committed financial fraud in my name. The amount of time and effort — not to mention concern — that I’ve spent trying to solve this, has opened my eyes to the importance of protecting identities (both in a business and private context)!
“Although it’s been a harrowing experience, I will admit my unfortunate experience with identity theft isn’t the reason I joined Okta — I recognized the opportunity for Okta and identity long before I realized fraudulent credit cards had been opened in my name. At Oktane17, I heard our COO and co-founder Frederic Kerrest talk about how cybercrime today is global, highly-organized and more sophisticated than ever. He cited statistics on the 1,700 recorded breaches in 2016, and how 80% of those breached are identity-related (caused by stolen or weak credentials). Europe has always been focused on data privacy and protecting consumer information, but the ante is being upped significantly with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect in May 2018. The financial penalties of a GDPR breach will be so significant — up to 4% of a company’s annual revenue — that the effective protection of customer identifies is now a board-level priority, which creates another opportunity for Okta to address a critical business need.
“I’m excited to lead Okta’s EMEA team to pursue these massive opportunities. I’ve been tasked with growing the business in the region and keeping us focused on helping our customers manage the extended enterprise and transform the customer experience. I look forward to working with many of you on just that.”