- On Monday, Okta added former PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble executive Robert L. Dixon, Jr. to its board of directors.
- Dixon says that since he has worked in consumer companies, he brings the "voice of the customer" to the table.
- Okta has been working
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Robert L. Dixon, Jr. says he grew up in corporate America, working at the household products company Procter & Gamble and the beverage company PepsiCo. Now, he’s joining the board of $14.57 billion identity management company Okta, where he hopes to bring the "voice of the customer."
"The more I researched about Okta, the more excited I got about it, and the more conversations I had with [Okta CEO Todd McKinnon] and the management team, the more excited I got as well," Dixon told Business Insider.
At Procter & Gamble, Dixon held various executive positions, while at PepsiCo, he was Global Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President. Although these are consumer companies, he says they had a "very significant technology emphasis." Nowadays, Dixon is the owner of The RD Factor, Inc., a consulting business.
"The role is we needed someone who has been a CIO who can bring the perspective of a buyer," McKinnon told Business Insider. "More importantly, the challenge they have is taking a large company that formerly was not a technology company to move them to do technology."
McKinnon says Okta is transitioning its board from having mostly venture capitalists to having more business leaders, and Dixon is another step in that direction. To that end, McKinnon says Okta was looking for someone who can give guidance on its strategy on working with with consumer companies, and Dixon was "by far the best candidate."
"If you look at the board, we have a lot of experts in a lot of things, we didn’t have something who has been a customer, someone who would buy Okta at a big company, especially someone who looked at technology from the lens of ‘I’m a big traditional company,’" McKinnon said. "That’s an important role."
Dixon first heard about Okta through a colleague. In the process, he also reached out to Shellye Archambeau, the former MetricStream CEO who joined Okta’s board last December. She suggested that he take a look at the opportunity to join Okta’s board.
Since he previously worked at consumer companies that sold household or beverage products, Okta has a different business as its product is the technology, Dixon says that he brings insight on going to market and engaging with IT leaders.
"Technology for the most part was a critical enabler to how do you do R&D around the product and take it through the business model value chain all the way to the consumer," Dixon said. "The technology was an enabler. In a tech company like Okta, the product is technology."
Dixon says he looks forward to helping Okta navigate its growth.
"The way they grow right now is astronomical," Dixon said. "I’m looking forward to being able to grow their business and work with management to channel the growth."
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