Today marks an important milestone in the expansion of Wickr as a global security and privacy-focused communications platform. We are excited to announce the launch of Wickr Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting a strong free society by championing private communications and freedom of information through the Private Web. Wickr’s Co- Founder, Nico Sell, will lead the Foundation as its CEO. Nico will also serve as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Wickr alongside Jim Breyer and Co-Chair Gilman Louie continuing to play a vital role in shaping the vision for the company.
Mark Fields, previous head of CME Group’s Strategic Investment Group, will join Wickr as its CEO. Mark will lead the company’s expansion in becoming the most trusted communications platform at the global institutional level, including financial, healthcare and other industries. With a record number of international high-profile security breaches reported almost every week, it is clear that everyone — private citizens, major corporations, and small businesses — must improve on security and privacy practices.
Mark is joining Wickr from CME Group, a derivatives exchange operator. Mark joined CME Group in 2000 and played a key role in taking the company public, accomplishing over $20 billion in strategic M&A, and executing key strategic commercial transactions. In January 2014, Mark led the establishment of CME Group’s Strategic Investment Group, a corporate venture capital unit where he served as a managing director. Mark has 30 years of banking, strategy and corporate finance experience, having worked at Ernst and Young, Toronto-Dominion Securities, and Union Bank of California.
In announcing the launch of the Foundation and Mark Fields’ new role Jim Breyer said, “I am very proud to see Wickr grow into the most trusted communications tool among human rights and civil liberties activists, journalists and world leaders. I am excited to see where Mark takes the remarkable technology built by Nico and the Wickr Team. Mark’s outstanding expertise in finance and strategy will help Wickr become the nervous system of the web, ensuring that all internet transactions are secure and protected.”
Echoing these comments Gilman Louie said, “Nico’s impactful advocacy has shaped our global conversation on human rights to privacy and free expression. While Wickr will continue pioneering consumer and enterprise security products, there is a strong need for a leadership in promoting privacy and free access to information on a global scale. In her new capacity at the Foundation, Nico will evangelize Wickr’s mission to bring secure communications to anyone in the world through international policy advocacy and public education work.”
Nico Sell added, “The work of the Foundation will be dedicated to advancing the evolution of humans and society by advocating for the Private Web. The goal of the Private Web is for each person, no matter of frontier, to have private conversations without prying eyes and freedom of information without censorship for free. Helping kids, human rights activists, journalists and artists have these basic human rights for free is at the core of the Foundation’s mission. This is how we enable evolution instead of revolution as billions more join us in this online world with no borders. We are all connected.”
In commenting on his new role at Wickr, Mark Fields stated, “I am honored to assume this role and build upon the solid foundation that Nico and Team Wickr have established. Wickr’s patented encryption technology is uniquely suited to tackle the digital security challenges facing individuals, families, enterprises, and sovereigns in the world today. Building technology and tools help our clients manage and secure their most valuable data at rest, in transit and in use regardless of the communications format or channel is a cornerstone of our mission.”
These changes begin a new phase of Wickr’s evolution as a leader in the realm of global communications and security.