Ralph Clark, the new CEO of one of my portfolio companies, security startup ShotSpotter, is a great fit for this already successful company. In a presentation at the company last week, he showed that he is the right man for the job.
As he was talking to the employees, he told them that he took the CEO position given his deep affinity for community, and he finds it both in Oakland, where he lives, and at ShotSpotter. He impressed everyone in a very short period of time and all of us on the Board were especially happy to see how the crowd felt about him.
Clark was president and CEO of startup GuardianEdge and previously an investment banker. At GuardianEdge, he oversaw both the company’s strategic direction and day-to-day operations leading to its recent acquisition by Symantec. Before that, he was VP of finance at Adaptec.
He likes decisive action, a must-do for a successful startup CEO.
“We all speak the same language,– and the currency I use is the currency you use,” he told the company gathering. “You and I decide what we will do and we will go do it, not just THINK about what we might do.”
In other words, he said, be decisive, and then stick to your guns. That is Clark’s history, and that’s what the successful team at ShotSpotter already does, especially its engineers and product developers. This was all a major draw for Clark. I really like startup CEOs with spark, and I am especially proud that Ralph Clark joined ShotSpotter.