Lead(H)er Profile - Erin Byrne, Vice President of North America Sales at Recorded Future banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Erin Byrne, Vice President of North America Sales at Recorded Future

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the Tech Industry.  In this Q&A, we are featuring Erin Byrne, Vice President of North America Sales at Recorded Future.


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child? 

I grew up in Hudson, New Hampshire and would best describe myself as a curious and adventurous child. I had two older siblings who were very smart and athletic so I had no choice but to keep up! If I wasn’t playing basketball, soccer, or tennis, I was outside exploring in the woods or riding my bike. I was used to a fast-paced lifestyle with all the activities that come along with three siblings and we were always traveling to see our extended family in upstate New York. 

Erin Byrne Recorded Future

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school? 

I studied Political Science in college. I was a walk-on for the women’s basketball team at George Mason University in Virginia my freshman year, but decided to transfer to the University of Connecticut after my first year and retired from Division 1 basketball. After graduating from UCONN, I went back to D.C. to earn my Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University. I always thought I would be in the FBI, CIA, or work for the government. I loved learning about history, politics and foreign policy and D.C. was the perfect city for that.

My first job out of college was at Raytheon in their International Division. I started there as an intern while in graduate school and they offered me a job when I graduated. While there, I worked in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia Region and loved every moment of it! I remember when I accepted the job offer they told me I would be going to Dubai a few months later. There was no looking back when I took that job and I traveled all over the world and got to do some pretty incredible things both personally and professionally.

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today? 

My first critical career move was taking the job at Raytheon after graduate school. The skills I developed and the experiences I went through in the different roles I had there set a foundation for me to think big and understand that anything is possible. I was working with three and four star generals and individuals who were way more experienced than me. Given that much responsibility in my early 20s, I had to learn to swim or would sink fast! They’ve continued to be good friends and mentors throughout my career.

After living in D.C. for six years, I thought I should move back up north and the perfect job became available at one of the companies Raytheon acquired selling their Boomerang product line in the Middle East and North Africa. Taking that job and leaving the network I built up in DC was risky but it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It got me closer to my friends and family and I was working on a sniper detection system that was saving soldiers’ lives in the war. I was also able to continue my travels to the Middle East and North Africa where I developed many professional relationships and friendships over the years, so it was a win-win all around.

The last critical career move I made was joining Recorded Future, a 30-person startup in Harvard Square. I can remember my breaking point at Raytheon and I knew I needed a change and wanted to do something completely different. At the time, I don’t think I really understood how risky the move was but I’m glad it worked out the way it did! Here I am, eight years later running sales for North America. I still remember my first day on the job like it was yesterday. I was coming from a 80,000 person company where I had my own office the size of a bedroom and wore pant/dress suits every day for five years. I showed up for the new gig on the sixth floor of an old building with two other companies in the shared workspace, had my new laptop, was way over dressed, and started making cold calls. I loved every moment of it!

What is your current role and responsibilities? 

I run sales for North America at Recorded Future. It’s roughly a $100M business this year spread across five teams. I’m responsible for our new business and also our existing client base of 600+ customers. The job is so rewarding because we’re arming governments and private organizations with security intelligence to disrupt their adversaries and stop attackers in their tracks. When I left Raytheon, I started to see the shift to cyber warfare and I couldn’t have ended up in a better place to continue the mission! 

Erin Byrne Recorded Future

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position? 

This is not where I thought I would be but I’m very happy it’s where I ended up. I had such a passion for intelligence work that I really thought I’d be working in the government. I loved my role at Raytheon and couldn’t wait to try something new with a small company that focused on intelligence but I never thought I could have such an impact and be where I am today. 

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals? 

Pave your own way. Seek advice from all kinds of leaders, take what you like most and make it your own. Always be ready to adapt and learn, no one has all the answers. Be patient, don’t climb too fast too soon, all those steps along the way prepare you for the roles ahead. 

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well? 

To be an effective sales leader you have to be able to deal with all kinds of people. Communication, empathy, adaptability are all critical but at the end of the day, you have to know how to motivate and lead your team. Be relatable, be humble, be human and that will go a long way. 

Erin Byrne Recorded Future

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging? 

I love the people. I’ve been lucky enough to build a great team that works extremely hard and are passionate about the company and the mission and that’s really rewarding. We win and we lose together, but nothing feels better than winning and helping our clients defend against cyber criminals. The biggest challenge is managing through all the change when you’re growing at such a fast pace.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment? 

Recorded Future. I started when we were doing under $1M in revenue and we’ll be at $200M+ this year. There has been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get where we are today. Every year there are new challenges and opportunities and it’s been an incredible journey that has taught me so many things I’ll take with me throughout the rest of my career.


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Running, skiing, paddleboarding, traveling. I love the sound of the ocean and the mountains for hiking and skiing. 

Erin Byrne Recorded Future

How do you manage stress?

Working out!

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

1 strong cup. Coffee is one of my favorite things so I invested in a good coffee machine years ago and it’s the highlight of my morning!

What's one of your favorite places in the Boston area? 

Running along the Esplanade and a weekend trip to Nantucket!

Any book or podcast recommendations?

I’m trying to read more fiction but I always wind up back on nonfiction...One of my favorite books of all time is Shantaram. I’m currently reading “A Woman of No Importance” which is a true story about an American Spy who helped win WWII.

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

Aim high, take risks and work really hard. Most importantly, earn your keep/respect, don’t be entitled!

About the
Company

Recorded Future delivers advanced security intelligence to disrupt adversaries, empower defenders, and protect organizations. Recorded Future intelligence is ready for integration across the security ecosystem.

View Company Page