Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Content, Enterprise, Midmarket

Arctic Wolf: CEO Transition Ahead of Potential Cybersecurity IPO


Arctic Wolf has promoted President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Schneider to CEO.  Schneider succeeds Brian NeSmith, who shifts to executive chairman.

The CEO transition comes as Arctic Wolf explores a path toward a potential IPO (initial public offering). In his previous roles, Arctic Wolf notes, Schneider led teams through an IPO and as part of Dell Technologies.

Arctic Wolf: Funding, SOCaaS Market Positioning, Partner Strategy

Brian NeSmith, CEO, Arctic Wolf
Brian NeSmith, CEO, Arctic Wolf

Nick Schneider, CEO, Arctic Wolf

The Arctic Wolf CEO transition surfaces roughly one month after Arctic Wolf raised $150 million in Series F financing and achieved a $4.3 billion valuation. The security operations center-as-a-service (SOCaaS) provider has achieved 100 percent annual recurring revenue (ARR) growth in each of the last seven years, Arctic Wolf says. Actual revenue dollar figures and profit/loss figures were not disclosed.

Arctic Wolf positions itself as a mid-market and enterprise solution. Beyond SOCaaS, the company also touts MDR (managed detection and response) capabilities. The company promotes a dual offering -- the Arctic Wolf Platform coupled with Concierge Security experts -- to help "organizations of any size to stand up world-class security operations that continually guard against attacks in an efficient and sustainable way."

On the channel partner front, Arctic Wolf in June 2021 expanded its channel-focused security services and operations to EMEA and incorporated Authorized and Wolf Pack tiers into its channel partner program. Arctic Wolf also launched its Managed Security Awareness training solution in May 2021.

Arctic Wolf CEO Transition: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the CEO succession, Schneider said:

“We are in rarefied air, as few enterprise technology companies have ever reached our scale of growth and velocity, and I am thrilled to lead the company through the next phase of growth and market leadership as CEO. I look forward to working with Brian side-by-side in his new role as executive chairman. I believe we have a greenfield opportunity ahead and are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of our market potential, and I am thrilled to lead the team as we continue to expand our leadership and product innovation.”

Added NeSmith:

“Nick has an incredible track record of leading and growing successful technology companies, and I am confident that he is the best possible leader to usher the company into its next phase of growth and global expansion. I look forward to supporting him in my new role as we continue to execute on our strategy and break new records."

Arctic Wolf Focus: Enterprise and Midmarket vs. SMB

The CEO transition announcement emphasized Arctic Wolf's momentum with enterprise and midmarket customers. That may be a subtle indication that the security company's platform won't potentially extend very far down market into the SMB channel.

Alas, many small MSPs don’t have the talent or financial resources to build and fully staff their own security operations centers (SOCs).

With that opportunity in mind, some MSP software platform providers have been acquiring their way into the SOCaaS market. Examples include:

Venture-backed startups are also in the market. For instance, Huntress raised $40 million in Series B funding in May 2021, and the company has a pure-play cybersecurity strategy that engages MSPs.

Still, Arctic Wolf also has a pure-play channel strategy, a new CEO, and enterprise/midmarket momentum. The lingering question: Is an Arctic Wolf IPO right around the corner?

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.