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AUSTIN, Texas – March 21, 2017 – Praetorian (http://www.praetorian.com) today announced the appointment of Peter F. Najera as its first chief operating officer (COO). Najera, who previously served the Pentagon as a Harvard Fellow and advisor to the Secretary of Defense, joins Praetorian as the first of several planned executive leadership appointments designed to position the company for accelerated growth in 2017.
“I am very excited to announce that Pete is joining Praetorian as our first-ever COO. Pete’s vast experience and incredible track record will help accelerate Praetorian’s growth trajectory from a $10 million bootstrapped start-up to a $100 million company and beyond,” said Nathan Sportsman, founder and CEO of Praetorian. “Pete’s irreproachable integrity, client obsession, servant leadership philosophy, and commitment to operational excellence will ensure Praetorian scales appropriately as it maintains its hyper-growth track record.”
Previously, Najera served as VP of Operations at Enviva, which he helped build from a pre-revenue start-up with 10 employees to a $300 million international operation and the world’s largest biomass energy company. A recognized expert in Lean Thinking, Najera successfully established a culture of continuous improvement and built a high-performing team that achieved excellence in every corner of the enterprise.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the industry-leading experts in cybersecurity,” said Najera. “Praetorian has been growing at a phenomenal rate year on year, and I look forward to collaborating with the team as we scale to meet the growing needs of our global clientele while maintaining the outstanding reputation the firm enjoys for delivering value to its customers.”
Prior to joining Praetorian, Najera served as COO at Sterling Foundation Management. Sterling is a multifaceted financial services and charitable planning firm with over $1.5 billion in assets under management. While there, Najera increased revenue 114% while growing the client base by 17%.
A former lieutenant colonel in the US Army with Airborne and Ranger training, Najera honed his leadership and critical thinking skills as a combat veteran in adverse and high-pressure conditions around the world, including the DMZ in Korea, the Cold War border between East and West Germany, Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, and the Green Line in Cyprus. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Valorous Unit Award for his combat service.
Most notably, Najera was appointed by the President as a White House Fellow where he served as the Assistant to the Deputy United States Trade Representative. Najera has also been recognized with several national and regional leadership awards, including the prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award, the Draper Leadership Award, and Notre Dame’s Corby Award for distinguished government service. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Najera has served as a Young Leader Fellow in Britain, France, Austria, and Japan.
Najera earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and earned a master’s degree from Harvard University.