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How Leadership and Communication Impact International Expansion

Dan Deeth shares how Arctic Wolf has maintained strong leadership and effective communication throughout their expansion journey.

Many business leaders don’t think about cybersecurity until it’s too late. In 2023, 1 out of every 10 organizations were hit by an attempted ransomware attack, which is why more than 5,000 organizations worldwide trust Arctic Wolf and its team of cybersecurity experts to protect them from advanced cyber threats.

Founded in 2012 by tech veterans Brian NeSmith and Kim Tremblay, Arctic Wolf helps organizations of all sizes with cybersecurity prevention, defense and incident response. As cyber threats have increased, Arctic Wolf has expanded its team to support the growing demand for cybersecurity services and software.

Arctic Wolf is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has expanded internationally to support the growing demand for their services. The company’s largest global office is based in Waterloo, with other locations in Germany and the UK.

While rapid growth can be tricky, Arctic Wolf has found a winning strategy to find success in international expansions.

Dan Deeth, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, has had a front-row seat to that growth – and the strategies behind it. Deeth joined the company in 2019 as employee #275. Arctic Wolf has almost doubled its employee headcount each year, and today has over 2,300 employees worldwide.

Deeth recently sat down for a conversation on our LANDED podcast with host Eamon O’Flynn to share how Arctic Wolf keeps its growth on track while keeping its award-winning workplace culture true to its mission of ending cyber risk.

Here are the three key insights he shared.

Focus on talent

Arctic Wolf focuses on finding, hiring and retaining the best people – regardless of their location. The company has implemented a hybrid work policy, which has helped them recruit top talent from around the world. Deeth said that building a solid team of experts is crucial for success in the cybersecurity industry.

“Our CEO, Nick Schnieder, believes that to be successful, you need to find the best people possible. No matter where they are,” he said. “We have a flexible and hybrid work policy where we’re in the office three days a week. We try to find the people around those offices because magic happens when people are in the office to collaborate.”

Maintain your culture

Many companies struggle to manage explosive growth while maintaining their culture. Deeth shared that Arctic Wolf strives to preserve and evolve its startup-like culture by actively gathering employee feedback to ensure they’re responsive to changing needs.

Arctic Wolf has brought in experienced leaders who have navigated similar growth trajectories as it scaled in order to sustain culture and collaboration between teams. He added that the combination of foundational startup values and the integration of experienced professionals has contributed to Arctic Wolf’s dynamic organizational culture.

“What’s really unique about the company as we’ve grown is that we are bringing some amazing people on who have been on the journey at other hyper-scale companies,” he said, “To bring in that level of expertise in your company, you have to trust where they are because that’s how you’re going to build a company to be able to deliver and build the best solution for customers.”

" I think when you hire the best people who are focused on the mission we’re focused on, like building the best company, all those complexities kind of fade to the background. "

Dan Deeth

Senior Director of Corporate Communications

Prioritize communication

Clear, frequent and transparent communication is critical for maintaining culture across borders, according to Deeth, who described Arctic Wolf as a “Slack company” that uses the messaging platform for collaboration, announcements and social interactions.

He added that while Slack is great for asynchronous communication, Arctic Wolf’s executive team still prioritizes timely communication when needed to keep the entire team informed about significant business events.

“Our communication is derived from what it was in the early days. So much communication happens on Slack because of the nature of being a global company. We use Slack for project communication, company announcements and social activities,” he said.

While the company relies on messaging to keep connected, there are times when the leadership team needs to bring the entire organization together for important business updates. “Communication is key to building culture. The executive team does an excellent job at being very purposeful anytime there’s a significant business event,” Deeth added.

“A few weeks ago, we acquired a relatively small company, but our CEO was very adamant about having a meeting and getting the entire team together. It’s 2,300 people. It was only 15 minutes long. But it’s an investment in the team and culture, and that’s really important.”

Listen to the episode

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