1Password shuffles C-suite, with CPO replaced and CMO to depart

1Password
Exec changes come as 1Password tracks slightly below its revenue growth targets.

Toronto-based password management startup 1Password will see its second C-suite executive depart the company this year, BetaKit has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, multiple sources have confirmed to BetaKit the impending departure of 1Password chief marketing officer (CMO) Raj Sarkar.

Having joined 1Password in May 2021 after advising the board the year prior, Sarkar is set to depart the company in mid-September. While sources indicated the internal announcement of his departure was framed positively, Sarkar reportedly told employees privately that the decision was not his choice.

One source framed the changes as the necessary growing pains of a 17-year-old company getting its house in order following massive growth and financing.

The decision shortly follows the replacement of Akshay Bhargava as chief product officer (CPO). Bhargava, who joined 1Password in February of last year, departed the company in July and recently announced a new role at New Relic; earlier this month, 1Password appointed Duo Security, Cisco, and Shogun alum Steve Won as his replacement. According to his LinkedIn page, Bhargava remains a senior advisor to CEO Jeff Shiner.
 

1Password declined a request for comment from BetaKit concerning the moves. Both Bhargava and Sarkar had not responded to similar requests by time of publication.

RELATED: 1Password claims $744 million CAD round is largest in Canadian history

The C-suite shuffle comes during a year of exceptional change for the company, which saw it close a $744 million CAD Series C funding round—one of the largest venture raises by a Canadian company to date, also making 1Password one of the country’s most valuable tech companies. In addition to Sarkar and Bhargava, the company has also added former Shopify VP and assistant general counsel Erin Zipes as chief legal officer, SSENSE alum Katya Laviolette as chief people officer, and former Facebook VP of security and engineering Pedro Canahuati as chief technology officer (CTO).

The period has also seen 1Password embark on new ventures, such as the company’s first ad, featuring fellow Canadian (and 1Password investor) Ryan Reynolds.

One source familiar with the company’s operations that BetaKit spoke with framed the changes as the necessary growing pains of a 17-year-old company getting its house in order following massive growth and financing—identifying the right people to execute on 1Password’s bold vision.

But that vision—and the financing raised to achieve it—bring additional pressures. The source also noted these moves have come while 1Password is tracking slightly below aggressive revenue growth targets. When asked by BetaKit, a spokesperson for 1Password declined to comment on whether the executive changes were related to the company’s recent performance.

RELATED: As Apple moves to kill the password, 1Password CEO says he’s not worried

This leadership shuffle has occurred as 1Password faces mounting competition from the likes of big players like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, the latter of which recently unveiled ‘passkeys’ at its annual keynote. Passkeys are a new biometric sign-in standard some believe has the potential to kill the password.

Shiner told BetaKit in June that while he sees Apple as a competitor, he isn’t concerned, noting that 1Password sees a surge in interest anytime a major brand focuses on passwords.

“Every time they’ve introduced something our business has gone up significantly as a result of that,” the CEO said at the time.

1Password, which views its platform-agnostic software as a key differentiator compared to other large players in the space, is betting that the future of passwords will involve another innovation: universal sign-on. The goal is to make its password management features work alongside multi-factor authentication (MFA) products like Duo and single sign-on (SSO) products like Okta to provide enterprise-level security for businesses large and small.

“From a security point of view, we’re not really optional software,” Shiner told BetaKit in June.

Feature image courtesy 1Password.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling and breaking Canadian tech and innovation stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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