Over the past six months we have given you an inside look at the talented, knowledgeable and friendly people who work at TRUSTe. This week we conclude the series with our CEO Chris Babel.
How long have you worked at TRUSTe? It will be 6 years this December.
Tell us about your role at TRUSTe. As CEO, I’m responsible for setting strategy, vision and direction for the company. This encompasses everything from what markets to enter, what products to deliver to help our customers succeed and how to differentiate TRUSTe. Critical to succeeding is our culture and team, as the best strategy in the world still loses without great execution from people who understand the company direction and are passionate about our shared success. On a daily basis this can vary dramatically from meeting externally with customers or prospects to improve our market knowledge or internally hosting our monthly “Beer with Babel” meeting where employees can directly or anonymously submit any question they have about the company and our direction.
How has your role changed over time? When I started at TRUSTe, we had just transitioned from a non-profit organization with 60 employees and were just starting to build our technology platform. Today, we have about 175 employees with more people in product and engineering than we had in the whole company five years ago. Managing the transition to a full-fledged technology company and transitioning the culture with the market concerns around privacy exploding has been a massive change to TRUSTe and exciting challenge.
What do you think are the top privacy challenges for companies? Simply keeping up with privacy best practices and current regulations is a challenge for most companies. Designing privacy into products and processes and ensuring they’re compliant with the varying regulations in every country in which they operate is even harder. Scaling good privacy practices and technology to competitively differentiate, gain consumer trust and enhance their brands is the ultimate challenge.
What do you like most about working at TRUSTe? The people, then the people and finally the people! At a small company you spend more time at work than you do with your family or friends so you had better enjoy your co-workers, customers and business partners.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working? With three boys only a bit over three years apart, fun non-work time is devoured by kid’s activities. Skiing, soccer, tennis, swimming and water polo teams for the kids dominate time out of the office, but I do manage to sneak some personal time for early morning trail runs and kite surfing.