Chief Operating Officer

Job description

Our company:

Our mission is to defend human rights and democracy through building software that is essential for digital freedom and privacy protection for all Internet users.

ProtonMail was founded in 2014 by a group of scientists who met at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). And since its inception, the company has grown at a fast pace and today has over 30 million users and a profitable business model. Our principal product, ProtonMail, is the world’s largest secure email service. Our second product, ProtonVPN, is one of the world’s most popular VPN services. Our vision is to build an Internet platform for the protection of digital rights, and we are also developing additional products such as ProtonCalendar, ProtonDrive, and much more.

Proton users include leaders of the Hong Kong protest movement, New York Times journalists, some of the world’s largest corporations, and millions of ordinary citizens from over 180 countries. Our team is diverse and dynamic, representing over 30 different nationalities, with offices in Geneva, Zurich, Prague, Vilnius, Skopje, San Francisco, and Taipei.

About the position:

As the Chief Operating Officer, you will work closely with our CEO to develop the behaviors, systems and processes to drive a performance-based culture with an absolute commitment to excellence. You will need to be able to translate strategy into clear action and will play a critical part in enabling the roadmap for finance, HR, legal and operations functions. As a COO, you will define and implement operational processes internally, devising ways to improve consistency, efficiency and profitability whilst also building a disciplined culture to compliment the start-up spirit.

What you will do:

• Oversee the delivery of day-to-day operations, including finance, legal, compliance and HR functions, ensuring they are consistent with the overall strategy and mission.

Processes, systems

• Increase operational effectiveness while building systems-driven culture.

• Define and scale operational capacity (opening new offices, hiring talent) while driving results in line with the overall strategy.

• Motivate employees to meet and surpass all operational and commercial goals, providing a system for staff to be recognized, rewarded and valued by their actions.

• Promote communication between colleagues to increase information flow and aligned culture.

Scale-up mindset

• Work with the CEO and other members of the management team on capital allocation to ensure financial and human capital is being employed in the right places.

• Work closely with the finance team and legal counsel to identify evolving demands and implement improvements across functions to address potential challenges in different legislate regions.

• M&A integration – COO will take an active role in integrating and realizing the value of acquired companies or technologies.

• Provide degree of urgency, resourcefulness, responsiveness, and inventiveness at every level that drives the team and the organization forward.

Job requirements

• Seasoned, mission-focused and evolved leader with 10+ years’ track record of helping companies scale by meeting challenging stretch targets through periods of rapid change.

• Practical experience of growing and stabilizing organizational cultures.

• Experience within a relevant B2C technology/ software business which has successfully scaled internationally throughout Europe and the US.

• A strong grasp of commercial and operational business management, specifically financial, legal and HR principles.

• Previous experience of hiring and leading a high-performance team of at least 10+ individuals.

• Hands-on experience in defining operational responsibilities and setting up targets, deliverables and milestones on functional and organizational level.

• Ability to drive initiatives from planning, capital allocation (financial & human) all the way to execution and implementation.

• Ability to ensure compliance with the law, regulations and company’s policies.

• Proven experience in finance officer or relevant role driving the company’s financial planning and cash flow would be advantageous.

• Proven experience in HR coordination would be advantageous.

• A strong affinity with Proton Technologies’ mission would be advantageous.

• University Degree/MBA.


Knowledge in the following areas is considered a plus:

• Background working with founding management teams on defining company’s growth strategy, goals and key objectives.

• Experience in working closely with product teams.

• Previous experience in building company’s brand, promoting corporate image by speaking at external events.

• Using a variety of channels (TV, press, internet etc.) to maximize company’s exposure and advise company on handling sensitive public issues to preserve reputation.


Why you should join Proton:

  • We work on interesting, challenging problems every day. There is never a dull moment.
  • Our startup culture means everyone’s opinion matters. You can have a significant impact.
  • Our rapid growth means there are many opportunities for advancement.
  • The chance to do something meaningful. Proton products protect dissidents, journalists, and activists. Our work saves lives.
  • Be part of something bigger. Millions of people and businesses around the world have embraced our idea of an Internet where privacy and security are the default. Join the privacy revolution that is changing the world.