1Password, a digital privacy and security company valued at around $6.8 billion earlier this year, has hired Erin Zipes to be its first chief legal officer.
Zipes was associate general counsel and corporate secretary at Shopify Inc., which last summer named her acting head of the legal department. She left after more than seven years with the e-commerce company in December.
She said she was a longtime customer of 1Password, which provides digital security services to companies including Shopify and IBM Corp. His main focus will be recruiting legal talent after the business expands during the coronavirus pandemic, with clients looking to protect employees working from home.
Zipes’ hiring follows 1Password’s $620 million Series C fundraising round in January, which helped the password management platform secure its nearly $7 billion valuation. The Toronto-based company, founded in 2005, said the fundraising was the largest ever by a Canadian company.
1Password investors include Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors Co., and Robert Iger, former chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Co.
Others behind the company’s latest fundraising are celebrity investors such as Ashton Kutcher, Chris Evans, Justin Timberlake, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Reynolds, Scarlett Johansson and Trevor Noah.
Zipes declined to specify which law firm(s) advised 1Password in its fundraising efforts.
Backbone Angels, a collective that Zipes and other former Shopify executives launched last year to support Black, Indigenous and women of color businesses, has also invested in 1Password, according to a statement from the group.
Zipes said she will remain involved with Backbone in her spare time.
“I’m very proud to be able to invest in, support and empower underrepresented groups, including women and non-binary founders,” she said. “My co-founders and I are angel investors through Backbone with our own money.”
Backbone takes no outside capital, which Zipes says gives it the “freedom and flexibility” to make its own decisions about how much capital and how long to invest. Other members of the collective, some of whom are parents, also juggle other full-time jobs, she said.
Zipes started at 1Password two weeks ago, working from her hometown of Ottawa, where she and her family returned a dozen years ago after beginning her career as an associate at Stikeman Elliott in Toronto.
“My husband and I knew returning to Ottawa would be better for our children, but we expected our careers to take a hit. Luckily, that didn’t end up being the case for any of us,” she said.
1Password is looking to grow its in-house legal department, which currently has four attorneys, including General Counsel Meenakshi Lakhanpal.
“We just released three new roles and expect to continue to grow for the foreseeable future,” Zipes said. “To put our growth trajectory into perspective, 1Password has grown its team by more than 300% in the past 24 months to over 800 employees, so our legal team must continue to evolve to meet the needs of the business. .”