Why I joined Todyl: Mike Hanauer

Zach Dressander
July 10, 2024

We sat down with Mike Hanauer, Todyl’s Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), to discuss his journey into the channel and security, why he decided to join Todyl, and his secrets to succeeding in sales organizations.

What got you interested in the tech and cybersecurity space in the first place?

Prior to entering sales, I was a nuclear engineer in the US Navy on the USS Enterprise. Coming out of the service, there were a lot of opportunities, but I always really loved working with people rather than machines. Sales seemed like a natural progression for me to work with people more closely than if I ended up working in the shipyard or at civilian power plants.

I still don’t have a college degree; I’m currently a junior, taking classes when I can. In Sales, like most positions, not having a degree makes it tough to find a role. So, I worked my way up, doing door-to-door sales and eventually combining my backgrounds at a company running events for military contractors and later the CIOs of nearly all the three-letter agencies. They were looking for ways to modernize their data backup, getting off the old tape reels and into more cloud and virtual environments.

I was vetting vendors for them and came across a company called Datto. They liked my pitch but weren’t interested in working with the summit. They did, however, like my approach and invited me for an interview, which eventually turned into a job offer.

How did you get started in cybersecurity and the channel?

Since then, I’ve had a long history in the channel, starting in 2011 at Datto as a sales engineer. Back then, we were just a team of 25 people, but over six years I went from sales engineer to sales rep, sales manager, sales director, eventually ending up as VP of US sales with a team of 100 people. At around 2,500 employees, the company got bought out and I realized that, at the age of 35, I wasn’t going to meet my goal of being a first-time CRO at a company of that scale.

So, I decided to leave to join a smaller company where I could truly be a CRO and learn the ropes, be in board meetings, and all of that. I joined SKOUT Cybersecurity, which was primarily direct at the time, to shift into a more channel-focused sales effort. Over two years through the pandemic, we had to figure out how to navigate the MSP community without physical events, which was traditionally how you built community in the space. It really leveled the playing field for a lot of smaller companies who had to find creative ways to reach people without pouring a bunch of money into virtual events. After about two years, SKOUT got bought out by Barracuda and I found myself as a Sales VP in a 2,000+ person company again.

I left to join Redstor to help bring them into the US market. As they started pivoting to selling to cloud service providers, I again found myself getting further from my goals. My wife encouraged me to follow a dream I had for many years: starting a consulting business to give small businesses access to an experienced CRO without the overhead cost typically associated with it. I was consulting, working from home, and helping small businesses, and things seemed great.

How did you find out about Todyl?

A year or so later, I got a call from Dan Ingevaldson from TechOperators on the same day that I received a message from the Todyl team, both telling me about the CRO opening at Todyl. I had a couple of other irons in the fire and was maybe hoping to get some consulting opportunities out of it, but figured I might as well talk to Todyl and see what they were all about.

If you asked me a few months ago, I would have said I wouldn’t have stopped working from home in a million years. After coming to Denver, meeting the Todyl team, seeing the tech in action, and speaking with folks in the MSP community, however, it seemed like a perfect fit for me.

One of the biggest things I take pride in is how many people’s lives I’ve been able to impact—and see that impact—as a leader. I love being able to help people achieve their goals, whether it’s growing their career, being able to pay their mortgage, afford an engagement ring, or help their parents retire. At Todyl, not only am I responsible for driving the whole sales team, but as CRO, my work contributes to everyone’s paychecks. It’s the weight, the impact you must think about at this level.

What stood out to you about Todyl?

Besides the in-person aspect, the technology fills so many gaps, especially for SMBs, mid-market, and of course, the channel. SMBs and MSPs often have multiple disparate products and try to make them work together. But the products don’t talk with each other, and the deployment is tough. It’s a nightmare.

To consolidate under a single vendor with a single agent and interface with compliance reporting is huge. Compliance reporting is hard and when you can’t make it easy as a security vendor, sometimes businesses ask you to do it for them. Having it all in one dashboard is great.

The investment team was another part for me. I admire what Anthos, Base10, and TechOperators have done. I especially love that the individuals at TechOperators have all run their own businesses, and I’ve wanted the opportunity to work with them for a while. The fact that they all did their due diligence and reached out because they think Todyl has the potential to be unique gave me a lot of confidence in the company, the product, and the vision.

Also, Austin McChord,one of Todyl’s Advisory Board members, was CEO at Datto during my time there, and I see a lot of the same qualities and passion he had in John Nellen. It’s tough to be both a founder and a technical leader at a fast-growing tech startup. To be able to evolve yourself, step back, and think more strategically is difficult. John recognizes he needs support through the transition, and I respect him for bringing in people like Austin and myself to do so greatly.

What do you love to do outside of work?

I love golf. My wife and I go out as often as we can. Otherwise, I’m just a family guy. My daughter is 8 and my son will be 10 next month. We hang out at home, swim in the pool, all that fun stuff.

Do you have any secrets to success?

One of my favorite quotes is “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.” Prepare yourself for the job you want to do next and think about what you ultimately want to do in the long term.

Is the path you’re going on bringing you in that direction? If you have a good path for yourself, it helps you make decisions and be prepared for when opportunity arises.

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Additional reading

How to increase trust with cyber insurance carriers
Why MDR platform breadth and depth matters
A Deep Dive into SASE Static IPs

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