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Access and Identity Management Firm Okta Names New CFO

Okta Inc.,

which offers products for companies to verify identities and provide access to software applications, named a new finance chief.

The San Francisco-based technology company said Wednesday that Mike Kourey would become its new chief financial officer, effective March 8. Mr. Kourey has served on Okta’s board for the past five years, and most recently led the finances of Vlocity Inc., a cloud software firm that was acquired by

Salesforce.com Inc.

in June. He left that role on Tuesday after about a year.

Mr. Kourey is slated to succeed Okta’s current CFO Bill Losch, who plans to retire after more than seven years in the position, including during the company’s initial public offering in 2017. Mr. Losch will continue in his role until March to finalize the company’s annual report, and then stay on as an adviser through the end of April.

Okta makes money primarily by selling subscriptions to companies, which use its products to verify and secure the identities of their employees or customers and provide them with access to applications and websites.

In selecting Mr. Kourey, Okta chose someone who is familiar with the company to minimize potential disruptions amid the pandemic, said Todd McKinnon, the company’s chief executive. As a director on Okta’s board, Mr. Kourey was involved in the financial planning for the 2022 fiscal year and beyond. He already has relationships with the company’s executive team, Mr. McKinnon said. “I not only understand the plan, …I was part of developing the plan,” Mr. Kourey said.

One of Mr. Kourey’s core responsibilities will be to make investment decisions in areas such as hiring, product development and international expansion to ensure Okta continues to grow at a fast pace, the company said.

Okta on Wednesday said its revenue for the quarter ended Oct. 31 increased 42% from a year earlier, to $217.4 million. The company has continued to grow during the pandemic as companies have bought subscriptions to allow employees to sign onto networks while working from home, and also continued moving their systems to the cloud.

The company’s shares closed at $230.21 on Wednesday, before the company reported earnings, down 3% from a day earlier.

The company is focusing its research and development spending on incorporating additional collaboration and website development tools, Mr. McKinnon said. R&D expenses grew 56% to $159.3 million during the fiscal year ended Jan. 31. The company spent $58.2 million on R&D in the quarter ended Oct. 31, up 39% from a year earlier.

Analysts have cited competition with larger companies offering similar products as a core risk for Okta’s business.

Okta, which was founded in 2009, has not turned a profit yet. As CFO, Mr. Kourey said he will work on establishing a path to profitability, even as the company continues to invest. He declined to say when Okta could become profitable.

“…Over time, that is absolutely one of the priorities,” Mr. Kourey said.

Write to Kristin Broughton at [email protected]

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