Corporate Entrepreneur Interview

Carlos Moreira,

Founder, Chairman & CEO of WISeKey

Interviewed by Roman Protasevich, INSEAD 15D class participant

 

Introduction

I interviewed Mr. Carlos Moreira, Spanish-born, Swiss national, founder, CEO and Chairman of Geneva-based online data security firm WISeKey SA. Before establishing WISeKey in 1999 Mr. Moreira had many years worked as a UN expert on cybersecurity. He is a founder and/or a member of many respectful organizations and initiatives in this area. In 2013 Mr. Moreira was named to the Swiss bi-weekly financial journal Bilan’s list of the 300 most influential people in Switzerland.

Due to Mr. Moreira’s experience and role at WISeKey the focus of our interview was mostly on topics such as maintaining entrepreneurial drive within a company, balancing Direction, Space, Boundaries and Support within organization[1], qualities required from a successful entrepreneur. We also discussed some examples of new ventures that emerged within WISeKey during its short but vibrant history.

WISeKey background

WISeKey is a cybersecurity leader in digital identification and authentication technologies. The company’s mission is to transform the Internet into a reliable and fair tool for conducting secure, electronic transactions. WISeKey has developed a family of interoperable, standards-based PKI[2] products designed to enable, manage and simplify the use of digital certificates in Internet and e-business applications:

  1. CyberSecurity Solutions – provides trusted e-Identities, electronic signature and document dematerialization, corporate PKI solutions and projects like e-Voting and e-Invoicing;
  2. Digital Brand Management – an anti-counterfeiting and sales monitoring system that provides 100% authentication for luxury products or other valuable items;
  3. WISeKey Mobile – a suite applications leveraging secure digital IDs and WISeKey technologies to bring secure data protection, secure communications, and rich interactions to mobile users.

Although WISeKey exists much less than some of the companies we looked at in our class, it is already quite mature by tech sector standards. Since 1999 the company not only substantially improved its technologies but also came up with numerous innovative uses for these technologies, expanding from purely Internet business to offline products.

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[1] As per the framework described in Birkinshaw, J. 2003 “The paradox of corporate entrepreneurship”.

[2] Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a system of public key encryption using digital certificates that verify and authenticate the validity of each party involved in an electronic transaction.