HyTrust’s executive management team represents innovators and company builders with deep experience in their areas of expertise. We are building a world-class team with the skills and passion to transform cloud security.


HyTrust Leadership Team

  • John De Santis, Chairman and CEO, HyTrust
  • Eric Chiu, Founder and President, HyTrust
  • Mercedes Caprara, Chief Financial Officer
  • Hemma Prafullchandra, Chief Technology Officer and EVP Products
  • Fred Kost, SVP of Marketing
  • John Skinner, SVP Business Development
  • Wayne Lewandowski, SVP & GM of North American Public Sector
  • Chris Moore, SVP & GM North American Sales
  • Patrick Conte, SVP and GM, International Business
  • Jason Cowie, VP, Global Channels
  • John Rafter, VP Customer Success
  • Tushar Tambay, VP Engineering
  • Steve Pate, Chief Architect
  • Bill Hackenberger, VP Data Security


John De Santis

John De Santis

Chairman and CEO

John De Santis has operated at the bleeding edge of innovation and business transformation for over 30 years – with international and US based experience at venture-backed technology start-ups as well as large global public companies.

Most recently, Mr. De Santis was VP, Cloud Services for VMware. He joined VMware after being Chairman and CEO of TriCipher, a software security infrastructure company acquired by VMware in 2010. He led TriCipher’s transformation from a specialized niche provider of secure authentication solutions to the leading innovator in cloud based identity services for web application and SaaS access management.

Prior to TriCipher, Mr. De Santis served as CEO of enterprise security software company, Sygate Technologies, from 2000 until its acquisition by Symantec in 2005. Sygate’s innovations continue to provide the foundational technology for Symantec’s Endpoint Protection business. Prior to joining Sygate, he was SVP for Network Computing Devices (a leading thin client manufacturer), where he was responsible for all worldwide sales, marketing, and service operations. Prior to NCD, he was with Cincinnati Bell Information Systems (now Convergys Corporation) where he was Vice President, European Operations, responsible for delivering operational support systems and business process re-engineering to newly deregulated European telecommunication service providers. When he was 28 years old, he co-founded an optical fiber networking start up which built the first commercial application of optical channel networking for IBM mainframes.

Mr. De Santis earned an AB in Philosophy from Fairfield University and completed the Stanford University Executive Institute Program for Management of High-Tech Companies. De Santis is currently on the boards of Trace Security (IT Security/GRC management as a service) and NoHold (cloud based knowledge management/artificial intelligence solutions). He is an advisor to a number of early stage startups. Previously, he was on the boards of Neohapsis (security risk services – acquired by Cisco), Arxan (software application protection – PE exit to TA Associates), Tablus (data leakage protection software – acquired by EMC/RSA), Applied Identity (identity based access control software – acquired by Citrix), and was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Trident Capital.

Eric Chiu

Eric Chiu

Co-Founder and President

Eric Chiu is Co-Founder and President of HyTrust, leading the company’s Business Development. He has over 15 years of experience building startups, and leading Sales, Business Development and Finance functions. Under his leadership, HyTrust has become a leader in virtualization and cloud security automation and control, winning blue chip customers; principal investors; strategic partners spanning virtualization, network and endpoint security, log management and reporting; and building a world-class team.

Prior to starting HyTrust, Eric served as Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Cemaphore Systems, a leader in disaster recovery for Microsoft Exchange. There, he built the sales effort from the ground up and consistently delivered significant quarter-over-quarter sales growth, also putting in place the key OEM partnership with EMC. Previous to that, he led Business Development for MailFrontier (acquired by SonicWALL) and mySimon (acquired by CNET Networks). In these roles, Eric spearheaded OEM partnerships, technology alliances and new product initiatives.

In addition to his start-up management experience, Eric was a Venture Capitalist (VC) for Brentwood Venture Capital (now Redpoint Ventures) and Pinnacle Ventures, a venture fund that he co-founded. Prior to Brentwood VC, Eric served in the M&A Group for Robertson, Stephens and Company.

Eric is a recognized expert in cloud security and serves as subject matter expert for industry and financial reports, print and broadcast media. He holds a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Mercedes Caprara

Mercedes Caprara

Chief Financial Officer

Mercy Caprara is the Chief Financial Officer of HyTrust. She brings to this position over twenty years of broad experience in corporate finance and accounting with Fortune 500 companies as well as a specialized focus on technology startups.

Prior to HyTrust, Mercy served as CFO at TriCipher, a leading innovator in cloud based identity services, where she worked closely with the CEO in raising capital from venture investors and was a key member of the executive team until its acquisition by VMware in 2010. Previously, Mercy was co-founder and VP of Finance at Escalate, a multi-channel order management and ecommerce ASP company, where she oversaw all finance and administrative functions and worked with the CEO in several major financing initiatives. Previous roles included positions at Red Brick Systems (acquired by Informix/IBM), Kiva Software (acquired by Netscape/AOL) and GE Capital.

Mercy has an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame. She is a also a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

Hemma Prafullchandra

Hemma Prafullchandra

Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Products

Hemma Prafullchandra is CTO and EVP, Products at HyTrust. She is responsible for HyTrust strategy and its security and compliance innovations. As an evangelist for what’s possible, she drives the company and eco-system (partners, industry bodies, customers) to enable cost-effective, secure deployment of virtualization and cloud.

Hemma brings over 26 years of industry experience in the field of security, with expertise in Virtualization, Cloud, Operating Systems, Java2, Firewall, PKI, Secure Email, Web Services, Managed Services and Strong Authentication.

Prior to HyTrust, she held senior management and technical roles at FuGen Solutions, VeriSign, Critical Path, Sun Microsystems, and The Wollongong Group. She has authored numerous patents, and is an active participant in many industry and standards bodies (such as PCI-SSC, CSA and NIST/NCCoE). Hemma has presented at RSA US and Europe, VMworld, ISACA, ISC2, and other industry events. She is recognized as one of the 2014 Power Players in IT Security. Hemma is also a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT).

Hemma holds a BSc (honours) in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering from University College London.

Fred Kost

Fred Kost

Senior Vice President of Marketing

Fred is responsible for global marketing for HyTrust. He brings more than 20 years of marketing and security experience and has held marketing leadership roles both at early stage ventures and at large-scale, global companies.

Before joining HyTrust, Fred led enterprise marketing for Ixia where he raised the profile of Ixia as a security solution provider and helped drive the growth of the enterprise business. He has held senior marketing leadership roles at Cisco, Check Point, Recourse Technologies, Symantec, nCircle, and Blue Lane Technologies.

Fred earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

John SkinnerJohn Skinner

Senior Vice President of Business Development

John has more than 20 years experience in creating shareholder value, in both startups and large corporate ventures.  John built and led Intel’s first Enterprise Marketing Group, where he partnered with Microsoft and created the template that produced 10+ years of revenue hyper-growth.  John then started up and led Intel’s first Global Software Alliances Group, where he initiated an innovative technology co-development strategy involving Oracle, SAP, VMware, and IBM Software Group, which further accelerated market share and revenue growth.  In that role, John also assisted Intel’s venture capital group with their software startup investment thesis, prospect evaluation, and company-building efforts.  In addition to serving as a Venture Investment Manager in Intel Capital, John was a leader of Corporate Strategy teams, and director of Intel’s Northwest US Sales and Applications Engineering team. 

Since joining HyTrust in 2013 as its first full-time head of business development, John has created strategic partnerships that have yielded 5x growth in HyTrust revenue and shareholder value.  John holds an MBA from Rutgers University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, where he is a Guest Lecturer on Venturing and Corporate Strategy.

Wayne Lewandowski

SVP & GM of North American Public Sector

Wayne Lewandowski is the Senior Vice President & General Manager of North American Public Sector, at HyTrust. Wayne joins the HyTrust executive management as of July 2017 to lead the company in this critical sector for the organization.

Prior to HyTrust, Wayne lead the US Federal Business as VP of Sales at privately held Vormetric. During his tenure, he grew the data security business 15X in less than four years. This success was a key component to a successful acquisition of Vormetric by French based, Thales Corporation in early 2016. Post-acquisition, his leadership continued strong growth with a 200%+ growth YoY from 2015-2016 and expanded their data security platform throughout Civilian Agencies, Department of Defense, and the Intelligence Community.

Other recent leadership positions included establishing a virtualization consulting company in the federal space. During his leadership of the Defense sector, he established a win rate that landed the Maryland based company on the Washington Fast 50 list in 2010 (#11). Other notable sales roles include companies such as VMware, The SAS Institute, and Computer Associates.

A frequent contributor on cyber security, Wayne has an extensive list of speaking engagements, articles and participant in local media sources such as Channel 8 – Government Matters, and Federal Drive on WTOP Radio.

Mr. Lewandowski, has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Business Management and Quantitative Analysis. Currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and two sons.

Chris Moore

SVP and GM North American Sales

Chris is an accomplished leader with a successful track record of building and leading high performance sales teams. Most recently Chris served as Senior Vice President, Global Sales for Codenvy, Inc., which was recently acquired by Red Hat.

Chris has also been part of the senior leadership teams of several startups with successful exits, including: Kace Networks (Dell), AvantGo (Sybase), Genesys (Alcatel), and NeXT (Apple).

Chris holds a BSEE from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Patrick Conte

Patrick Conte

Senior Vice President and General Manager, International Business

Patrick Conte is Vice President and General Manager, International Business at HyTrust.  Previously he has been a head of global sales for a number of Silicon Valley companies, building go-to-market teams for innovative technologies in spaces as diverse as 3d graphics, server appliances, high performance computing, security & compliance and data center virtualization.  Pat has led several of his companies to successful exits including Dynamic Pictures (3dlabs), Cobalt Networks (IPO then acquired by Sun) and Topspin Communications (Cisco).  In addition, Pat was the CEO of an early stage IT security, compliance and risk software company and has been a board member and advisor to a number of Silicon Valley Startups.

Pat is a believer in the missionary role that sales plays in bringing leading edge technologies to solve new problems for global enterprises in Cloud and Data Center environments.  He earned a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and History from James Madison University in Virginia, and a Masters Degree in International Relations from Northern Illinois University.

Jason Cowie

Jason Cowie

Vice President, Global Channels

Jason has over 20 years of software experience building early and growth stage companies, and most recently was channel chief at Zerto. Jason has held executive leadership roles in channel sales, strategic alliances, business development, product strategy, and systems engineering at various companies including Virtual Instruments, Configuresoft (acquired by EMC/VMware), Microsoft, DriveProtected (acquired by Allied), and NetIQ.
He received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, and completed graduate studies in Information Technology at the University of Victoria.

John Rafter

Vice President of Customer Success

John Rafter is Vice President of Customer Success at HyTrust.  He has 25 years of experience in a variety of strategy, business development, account management and operations roles for technology companies and management consulting firms.

In 1998, he co-founded Black Pearl, Inc., an enterprise software company, for which he served as CFO and COO.  Following that, he was Vice President of Operations for Cemaphore Systems, Inc., an email continuity software start-up.  He has built and led operations-focused teams at Citrix, Solid Instance, Princeton University and Sun.

John holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and a BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.

Tushar Tambay

Tushar Tambay

Vice President of Engineering

Tushar is a 20+ year industry veteran who brings deep experience with technical management, operating systems, enterprise storage and security to his role in leading engineering at HyTrust. He has built massively parallel supercomputer databases and while at Veritas, later acquired by Symantec, he worked on a variety of enterprise storage subsystems including clusters, NAS/SAN and ObjectStore in a variety of form factors including host based and appliance. He subsequently assumed the role of Architect and VP of Engineering at HighCloud Security, an organization later acquired by HyTrust, where he focused on encryption and encryption key management solutions for private and public clouds.

Tushar holds an MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California in Berkeley and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Pune.

Steve Pate

Steve Pate

Chief Architect

Steve is HyTrust’s Chief Architect. Prior to HyTrust, Steve was co-founder and CTO of HighCloud Security (acquired by HyTrust in November 2013). He has more than 25 years of experience in designing, building, and delivering file system, operating system, and security technologies, with a proven history of converting market-changing ideas into enterprise-ready products.

Before HighCloud Security, he built and led teams at ICL, SCO, VERITAS, Vormetric, and others.

Steve has published two books on UNIX kernel internals and UNIX file systems, and has been published in numerous blogs and industry publications. He earned his bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Leeds in the UK.

Bill Hackenberger

Bill Hackenberger

Vice President of Data Security

Bill brings 25+ years of executive and management experience building and leading engineering and business teams in security companies large and small. A serial entrepreneur, Bill founded 4 startups and for the past 15 years has focused on enterprise security and data protection.

Most recently, Bill was the CEO and the co-founder of HighCloud Security, a startup dedicated to making customer-controlled data privacy automatic for any host in any cloud. HighCloud was acquired by HyTrust in 2013 and Bill’s attention is now focused on projects where the HyTrust model of secure governance over virtual environments is joined with transparent data protection that spans private and public clouds.

Prior to HighCloud, Bill ran engineering at a number of enterprise-level security products companies: Vormetric (data encryption), Caymas (identity-based secure gateways), Internet Security Systems (Server and desktop intrusion prevention)[acquired by IBM], and Network General (Intrusion detection appliances)[acquired by Network Associates]. Bill was also co-founder of AIM Technology [acquired by Network General], a provider of server and network performance management solutions.