Nearly ten years ago, I was the second employee hired at DigiCert by founders Ken Bretschneider and Chuck West. Over the next eight years, we (along with others, most notably Paul Tiemann, who was involved before me as a contractor and came on full time a couple years after me, and Flavio Martins, my best friend who I helped to bring into the company in 2007) built DigiCert into an amazing company that we are all extremely proud of. Ken and Chuck sold the company about 20 months ago, and for the past year, I have been the longest-tenured employee there. But the time has come to pass that title on to someone else, as I am leaving DigiCert.
I have learned a lot over the past decade, and I have been blessed to be involved with a company that really does things right. Ken, Paul, Chuck, Flavio, and I built an atmosphere and a culture where employees are valued and treated well, and in turn those employees value our customers and treat them well. I believe that if you do the right things for the right reasons in business, success will follow (and you’ll be able to sleep at night). I am proud to have been involved in proving that philosophy correct as an executive at DigiCert.
I’ve developed friendships at work that will hopefully last forever. DigiCert has always been much more like a family than a group of co-workers, especially in the earlier days when it was small enough to really know everyone.
Successful companies grow, and DigiCert has been very successful and had great growth. At some point recently, it reached the point where it just wasn’t the right place for me anymore. It’s heartbreaking in a way, because DigiCert is the only employer my kids have ever known me to have. But I know that the relationships I’ve built there will keep on going. In the end, work is just work.
As for what is next for me and my family, that is up in the air a little bit, but in a very good way. Beth and I have always known that nothing lasts forever, and we have prepared for the future accordingly. Our finances are in order, and while I’m not in a position to retire at age 37, we are definitely set up for me to be able to pursue some passions that have a good chance of supporting our family.
I am very thankful to have such a wonderful, loving, supportive wife who truly values my happiness. I am thankful to Ken and Chuck for bringing me into the company at a very early stage, which I think turned out to be a very lucky accident for all of us. I am thankful to Paul and Flavio for working with me over the years as we helped each other to achieve our joint vision of the ideal company.
I still believe that DigiCert is the best company in its industry. I hope they continue to have ridiculous success, partly because my brother and best friend and other friends are still there, and partly because they deserve it.
And watch out for big things from me in the next little while. The best is yet to come.
Awesome! Good luck man!
WOOT WOOT! Nice job brother. Welcome to the joys (and risks) of self employment! =)
Can I come work for you? Congratulations!
Rock On Jeff! You’ll tear it up.
Good luck Jeff. When I first started at DigiCert (and frequently throughout my time there), your attitude was something that really stood out to me as a positive influence in the culture there. It won’t be the same without you, I guarantee it.
My wife told me a few days ago that you were leaving DigiCert. I wish you the best of luck in the future. It was a pleasure working with you at DigiCert and I echo what Mike said, you definitely had a positivite impact on people at DigiCert and the company as well.
You should name your new company JeffeCert (or maybe SnideCert, or DodgeCert?) Hmm, maybe a bit of a copyright infringement…And then CONQUER Digicert. Coool.