Cybersecurity

CrowdStrike Australian head Mike Sentenas is eyeing a $225 million fortune in cyber security

“You need a great work ethic and culture,” he said of the cybersecurity pioneer. “Our mission is to keep our customers safe, and that is our North Star. We are successful because we have not lost that culture. When you work here, you buy into that. It’s a simple matter of whether you do it or not.”

windshield view

Sentenas owns about 383,000 CrowdStrike shares worth $125 million and has sold tens of millions of dollars in shares since last year.

But he doesn’t want to spend too much time thinking about his success. Speaking from the company’s North Sydney boardroom, he insisted he was focused on relentlessly moving forward.

“I’m not one to look back,” he said. “In the parable I heard from George, [Kurtz] The windshield that you see while driving is much larger than your rearview mirror.

“I’m focused on helping our customers and giving our employees a place where they can succeed and be rewarded. We want to create a culture where people stay here for a long time and look back and think their lives have changed. These are things that give me satisfaction. I think we’re in the early chapters of this book.”

growth and politics

CrowdStrike’s products act as digital firewalls that protect the computer networks of multinational corporations and governments from attempts by online fraudsters to steal information for political gain or financial reward.

The group became embroiled in political conflict after being the first to publicly sound the alarm about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and became the focus of conspiracy theories, including from then-U.S. President Donald Trump. It became.

CrowdStrike still provides sensitive online security to the British and US governments and is said to be the subject of constant attacks from Chinese government-backed Chinese hackers collectively known as APT31.

Sentenas declined to provide details about CrowdStrike’s work with Australian business customers, including Telstra and publisher Nine Entertainment, which have suffered high-profile hacks in recent years. Australian Financial Review.

In January, it received further approval from the government-backed Australian Cyber ​​Security Center to address public sector cybersecurity needs.

“The Australian government, like all governments, has the challenge of keeping the country safe,” he said. “There are reports in the press that state actors are trying to invade this country, and we are in a position to provide assistance.”

waterfront property

On Wall Street, 46 out of 50 professional analysts rate the stock a “buy” as demand for online security led to a 41% jump in subscriber numbers to 23,019 as of Jan. 31. are doing.

Excluding stock-based compensation and certain other costs, the company expects to earn up to US$918 million in fiscal 2025 on sales of approximately US$3.96 billion.

But critics argue that the stock is overvalued, as CrowdStrike’s huge sales and marketing spending resulted in a relatively small statutory profit of $89.3 million in 2024 financials. There is.

“You can have the most amazing technology in the world, but if you don’t know how to market it and get it to market, you’re not going to be successful,” Sentenas said.

The head of technology and artificial intelligence evangelist is currently based “between Texas and the Bay Area” in California, USA, and splits his time between CrowdStrike’s US offices, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. This is his daily routine.

Before moving to the US in 2021, he spent most of his career in Sydney, where he is close to Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar as an option for technical success. He laughed off the suggestion that he could buy “a nice waterfront property.”

“Let’s see. They’ve had more success than me. [buying property] And we won’t be neighbors any time soon, but America was great,” he said.


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