Shopping for execs: ID management biz Okta poaches Google's veep of engineering to run product dev activities

Head techie for Chocolate Factory's search ad biz departs Mountain View


Identity-as-a-service slinger Okta has poached Google veep of engineering Sagnik Nandy to become its president and chief tech officer.

Nandy will run his new employer's engineering and business technology functions, including the planning of product development activities. He will report directly to Okta CEO and co-founder Todd McKinnon.

During 15 years at the Chocolate Factory, Nandy was distinguished engineer and senior director of analytics and measurements, and veep of display advertising. Most recently he ran engineering for search ads, as well as the in-house advertising unit.

This area represents the backbone of Google's operations, with the total ad business accounting for $50.44bn of the group's $61.88bn turnover in its recent calendar Q2, according to financial results filed last week.

Prior to landing at Mountain View, the exec worked on a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from UC San Diego. All that effort and brain power was then used to help Google make money from people clicking on ads.

McKinnon said in a canned statement: "With Sagnik at the helm of our technology team, we're deepening our investment and further asserting the importance of identity." He talked up the new hire's background in enterprise software development, cloud infrastructure, and biz-critical systems.

Google previously named Okta as its "preferred identity and access management partner" in the large enterprise segment in 2016 but then a little over a year later bought single sign-on vendor Bitium.

The pandemic has been kind to Okta, which IPO'd in April 2017 on NASDAQ and has a market capitalisation of $32.56bn. It creates cloud wares that let companies manage and secure user authentication, and developers to build ID controls into apps, web services, and devices.

The business turned over $835.4m in sales during the year ended 31 January 2021, up 42 per cent year-on-year, but net losses widened to $266.3m from $209m as more money was spent on R&D, sales and marketing, and general and admin, taking expenses up to a whopping $821.0m. Ouch. ®

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