Events , Leadership & Executive Communication , RSA Conference

CyberEdBoard Profiles in Leadership: Joe Sullivan

Former Uber CSO Discusses Emerging Digital Risks and Security Leadership Roles
Joe Sullivan, CEO of Ukraine Friends, former CSO of Uber, and CyberEdBoard member

Leaders of digital security risk in the near future will have more influence within their organizations and executive ranks, but they won't necessarily be today's CISOs, said Joe Sullivan, CEO of Ukraine Friends and former CSO of Uber.

See Also: Why the Future of Security Is Identity

"If we go five years into the future, security will be 100% part of the executive team. But the real question is whether it's going to be the person that is in that CISO role now or if that person is going to get leveled and there will be a different digital risk leader above the CISO," he said.

When CISOs tell Sullivan they are worried about the risks of the job, he tries to reassure them. "I tell them there is only one CISO that's been indicted, found guilty and sentenced, and there are no more criminal cases happening right now against CISOs," he said, referring to his own 2023 sentencing for covering up a data breach at Uber (see: Jury Finds Former Uber CSO Joe Sullivan Guilty of Cover-Up).

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group as part of the CyberEdBoard's ongoing Profiles in Leadership series, recorded at RSA Conference 2024, Sullivan also discussed:

  • Why CISOs who think AI is not yet being used within their companies have their "heads in the sand";
  • How CISOs must "step up" to assert their security concerns about the enterprise;
  • Reflections on his federal sentencing related to a 2016 breach at Uber.

Sullivan is a lawyer and former federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. He has 20 years of experience in executive roles and served as a CSO at Facebook, Uber and Cloudflare and as an associate general counsel at PayPal. Sullivan co-founded the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Unit at the Department of Justice. Sullivan is a member of the CyberEdBoard.


CyberEdBoard is ISMG's premier members-only community of senior-most executives and thought leaders in the fields of security, risk, privacy and IT. CyberEdBoard provides executives with a powerful, peer-driven collaborative ecosystem, private meetings and a library of resources to address complex challenges shared by thousands of CISOs and senior security leaders located in 65 different countries worldwide.

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About the Author

Anna Delaney

Anna Delaney

Director, ISMG Productions

An experienced broadcast journalist, Delaney conducts interviews with senior cybersecurity leaders around the world. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website for The European Information Security Summit, or TEISS. Earlier, she worked at Levant TV and Resonance FM and served as a researcher at the BBC and ITV in their documentary and factual TV departments.




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