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From Secret Ops to Enterprise Software: Former CIA Chief Information Security Officer Joins Salesforce


William MacMillan, former Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has joined Salesforce as SVP, Security Product and Program Management, BISO, and Acquisition Integration. 

After serving 10 years as a combat rescue and special operations pilot in the Air Force, MacMillan spent nearly two decades at the CIA, where he played a key part in driving the agency’s digital transformation. This culminated in his role as the Agency’s CISO, reshaping the CIA’s cybersecurity strategy.

Why it’s important: Every organization must adopt a cybersecurity strategy to mitigate when, not if, bad actors target sensitive data. MacMillan’s service at the CIA gave him a deep understanding of the threat landscape facing today’s economy; he now joins Salesforce ready to act as a trusted digital advisor in the shared responsibility of protecting customer data. 

The Salesforce perspective: “William’s experience and unique knowledge about both the public sector and the importance of public-private collaboration is unparalleled,” said Vikram Rao, Chief Trust Officer, Salesforce. “It’s more important than ever for public and private sector organizations to collaborate in actively managing cybersecurity risk and building resilience.” 

In his own words: “My time in government revolved around efforts to modernize the way federal agencies leverage today’s tech, so it was a natural next step for me to choose to work at a company known as a pioneer in the tech space, where security is built into everything we do,” said MacMillan. “Cybersecurity is all about enabling the business. There can’t be any distinction between getting the job done and getting the job done securely.”

The big picture: With Executive Order 14028 and the Senate unanimously passing the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act of 2022 (“SACA”), the federal government is creating new urgency to advance robust cybersecurity protections and standards.

“These orders are not about politics, but rather to set a tone of existential urgency. The idea is for the government to set a leadership example and for the private sector to set the standard,” said MacMillan. “We have to think more deeply than ever before about public trust, ethics, and the values we promote through the use of technology developed in the private sector.”

Explore further: Learn more about MacMillan’s career experience and Salesforce’s noteworthy security leadership team.


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