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Our New CRO Explains What 'Customer Centric' Really Means

Rachel Pepple

March 7, 2022

Today we're pleased to announce that Craig Weimer has been appointed chief revenue officer at ExtraHop. Craig brings to ExtraHop nearly three decades of experience in technology sales, including more than ten years as a sales leader in cybersecurity.

Ahead of his first day as CRO, I chatted with Craig about his perspective on ExtraHop, the cybersecurity industry, and his approach to leadership.

Welcome, Craig! Let's start with the obvious question: Why ExtraHop?

Now more than ever, there's a mindset that cybersecurity is everyone's job. With the rise of advanced threats, including modern ransomware and software supply chain attacks, we now live in a world in which cybersecurity needs to be more than a job. It must become our collective mission. When I decided I wanted to go back into the cybersecurity market, I wanted to do it with a company that really embodied that mission-driven ethos in its approach to cyber innovation, customer centricity, channel orientation, and company culture. ExtraHop checked all of those boxes.

Sounds like you had some fairly concrete criteria in mind. Can you share more about why those four things—cyber defense, customer centricity, channel orientation, and company culture—were so important to you?

My career in sales has spanned a number of industries, starting with old-fashioned door-to-door sales for Xerox, and then stints with Johnson & Johnson, BMC, IBM, and several other leading companies. However, it wasn't until I joined Blue Coat (acquired by Symantec) that I truly found my calling. During my more than 10 years in sales leadership roles with Blue Coat, I met with countless customers and came to understand their mindsets. Security professionals don't "go to work"––they get up every day to fight a battle, one which very few outside the industry ever see up close and that even fewer truly understand. Helping arm these professionals to combat advanced cyber attacks isn't just my job, it's a passion.

As a sales leader, it's incredibly important to me that I believe in the solutions I'm representing and the mission of the company behind them. After thoroughly researching ExtraHop's platform, Reveal(x) 360, talking to industry contacts, and meeting with the ExtraHop leadership team, I knew that I'd found a company as committed to the mission of cyber innovation as I am. ExtraHop has staked its reputation on doing what it says it does, and following through on its commitment to help customers defend against today's most advanced threats and migrate to the cloud with confidence.

A lot of companies out there talk about being customer centric. Can you talk about what that means to you?

I doubt there's any company on the planet today that would tell you that they don't have a customer-centric approach. After all, if you're not working for your customers, why do you exist as an organization? And yet, while it's easy to talk about customer centricity, it's hard to find companies who walk the walk.

Customer centricity starts with innovation. Customer-centric companies don't just build products, they anticipate unmet needs in the market and then work to solve those challenges for customers.

Customer centricity means putting yourself in your customers' shoes. It means not just understanding the challenges they face, but their root causes. It means understanding how they work, and what motivates them.

Customer centricity means backing up your product with people. When we meet with new prospective customers, they want to understand, not just how our solutions address their needs, but that once the contract is signed, ExtraHop stands by them with a community of resources who are committed to making sure they get the best possible return on their investment.

That ethos is abundantly apparent in the way ExtraHop innovates, with capabilities that truly address unmet needs in the market—real-time threat visibility across cloud and on-prem environments—and a team that backs up that product with world-class customer service. I look forward to continuing to work alongside our R&D, customer success, and services teams to deliver a world-class customer experience. I also look forward to getting to know our customers and working with them to protect their organizations against the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.

You mentioned the channel. Can you share more about why you believe the channel is so strategic?

I view the channel as a critical extension of our company, embedded into our DNA. Channel partners are more than a scale point for technology companies. Channel partners have crucial, cross-functional insight into an organization's challenges and opportunities, they are experts at building solutions that uniquely support a customer's goals and objectives, and they have expertise in local markets and territories that help strengthen the relationship between customer and technology provider.

ExtraHop has built a robust partner ecosystem that's central to their operations across all regions. They work with both large, multinational distributors and systems integrators, as well as regional and cybersecurity specialists organizations. ExtraHop customers benefit from the company's close collaboration with channel partners, and I look forward to continuing to build these relationships in the years to come.

That brings us to company culture. Can you share your perspectives on what makes a strong company culture, and what you hope to foster at ExtraHop?

Cyber innovation, customer centricity, and channel orientation are all part of who we are and what we do, but I believe that great company cultures start with something far more elemental. Strong company cultures encourage collaboration, service, loyalty, and balance. They choose optimism and seek creative approaches to solving problems and resolving conflicts. They value transparency, trustworthiness, and authenticity—in other words, doing what they say they do, while creating a diverse, dynamic, open, and positive environment for our employees, customers, and partners.

Earlier I mentioned that I believe that ExtraHop is a company that does what it says it does, and follows through on its commitments to customers. That's not only a founding ExtraHop principle, it's also evident in every conversation I've had with people inside and outside the company. To me, that's the hallmark of a company that has a strong, collaborative culture. I'm really looking forward to working alongside like-minded leaders and team members as we work to serve our customers.

Anything else to add?

Yes! We didn't talk about growth. In case anyone missed it, a few weeks ago ExtraHop announced that we grew annual recurring revenue by 47% in 2021. To put that in perspective, only the top quartile of SaaS companies ever see that kind of growth. We're going to continue to drive growth and momentum like that this year, and for years to come. I know what it takes to build and inspire world-class, results-driven sales organizations. That's what I came here to do, and I'm ready to hit the ground running.

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