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Case Study:

Confidential CISO Executive Search for a Unicorn SaaS Company

The Key Challenges:

Strategic Leadership Void: 

  • The existing security leader was focused on compliance rather than engineering and product security, leaving the organization vulnerable to evolving cyber threats.  Trust is a key factor in obtaining and retaining key clients, and a “box-checking,” compliance-based security strategy is no longer sufficient for SaaS companies. 

Confidential Search:

  • The search for a new security leader needed to be conducted confidentially to avoid alerting the incumbent leader before a suitable replacement was located.

Organizational Cybersecurity Expertise Gap:

  • The client's existing cybersecurity team lacked the technical expertise required to defend against sophisticated cyber threats and fortify their product security initiatives.

Lack of Domain Experience on Talent Acquisition Team:  

  • Despite the strength of this organization’s core talent acquisition team, they did not possess the domain expertise or network necessary to complete the search with surety.

Blackmere's Executive Approach: 

As a specialized executive recruitment firm, we partnered with the client’s leadership team to conduct a confidential search for a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) as well as a technical leader to further support the cybersecurity team. Our approach focused on understanding the client's unique needs, assessing their current team and threat profile, and strategically identifying and attracting top-tier cybersecurity talent while keeping the client confidential throughout the process.


Strategic Candidate Assessment:

  • Collaborated with the COO and CFO to assess the organization's current cybersecurity team, threat landscape, and talent gaps.

  • Developed an executive profile for the ideal candidates, emphasizing engineering, product security, and strategic leadership expertise.

Tailored Position Profile:

  • Engaged our recruitment marketing team to create a compelling position description tailored to attract and engage the desired candidate profile.

  • Emphasized the opportunity for impact, the company's commitment to cybersecurity excellence, and the confidential nature of the search.

Confidential Candidate Sourcing:

  • Leveraged our extensive network and industry expertise to conduct a confidential search for qualified, passive candidates.

  • Within ten days, the Blackmere team presented three candidates who met the client's technical, logistical, and cultural requirements.

Rapid Recruitment Process:

  • Streamlined our recruitment process, minimizing time-to-hire and maintaining confidentiality throughout.

  • Within three weeks, one candidate was offered and accepted the CISO position, followed by successfully recruiting a technical leader within four weeks from commencement.



Enhanced Cybersecurity Leadership:

  • The appointment of a new CISO and technical leader strengthened the client's cybersecurity team, filling critical expertise gaps and providing strategic leadership.

Positive Organizational Impact:

  • The new cybersecurity leadership demonstrated immediate impact, earning praise from executive leadership for their performance and contributions.

Confidentiality Maintained:

  • The confidential nature of the search was successfully managed, preventing disruption and ensuring a smooth transition in leadership.

Thriving Cybersecurity Team:

  • Under new leadership, the cybersecurity team is thriving, equipped with the expertise and leadership necessary to defend against cyber threats and drive organizational success.



*Confidential*  Client Partnership 



Company Size:


Time to Fill:

14 days to offer letter

Blackmere Solutions: 

  • Disvovery Call to align expectations and needs 

  • Blackmere Recruitment Marketing Services

  • Confidential Candidate Sourcing

  • Discreet Submissions to Client 

  • Strategic Alignment 

  • Offer Negotiation


  • Strategic Leadership Void

  • Confidential Search to avoid alerting the internal team 

  • Communication barrier between hiring manager (s) and internal recruitment team 

  • Organizational Cybersecurity Expertise Gap

Key Outcomes: 

  • Direct hires into the client within 2 weeks 

  • Positive Organizational Impact

  • Confidentiality Maintained

  • Thriving Cybersecurity Team 

Client Testimonials:

CFO: "We just had the most amazing all-hands meeting here today... We are making such an impact. It’s mind-blowing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!"

COO: "You. Are. AMAZING!! You totally delivered a unicorn, and [candidate] is amazing. Well done!!"

Through strategic talent acquisition and confidential search processes, our firm played a critical role in strengthening our clients' cybersecurity capabilities, enabling them to navigate complex cyber threats and drive organizational success with confidence.

Interested in learning how Blackmere can transform your difficult-to-fill or high-profile roles? Learn more

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