Success is to grow

Executive Team

Matthew Wilson, CEO

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Matthew is a successful technology entrepreneur with almost 20 years’ experience developing and commercialising cyber and ICT technologies.

Matthew is an experienced business strategist with international credentials. He led a team that built an award-winning cyber security business acquired by US defense contractor, Northrop Grumman, in 2012. Matthew also led a team that built a disruptive SaaS company which became part of US listed Mitel in 2015. In 2019, he exited a sports technology firm to a leading cycling brand.

Matthew is on the board of award-winning UK cyber security firm Amiosec Ltd., and UNSW Canberra Cyber Advisory Board. He co-chaired the Canberra Node of the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber).

In 2019, Matthew was awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year for NSW and ACT, and the 2019 Pearcey Award for technology entrepreneurship in the ACT.

Sarah Bailey, CFO

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Sarah is an accomplished finance and business executive with over 20 years’ experience in finance, strategy and governance.

Sarah joined Penten from EY where she consulted to federal government agencies on finance transformation. Sarah is Penten’s CFO and Company Secretary and was recently invited to join the Penten Board of Directors.

She previously held senior financial roles at Australia Post and National Australia Bank where she managed the transformation of finance operations, plus all financial and regulatory reporting of the National Australia Bank. Sarah also founded a successful CFO advisory for SMEs in Australia.

Sarah is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Chartered Accountant. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in Commerce (Accounting) and Arts (Psychology), and a Graduate Diploma of Business Leadership.

Ben Whitham, Founder and Director

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Ben founded three of Australia’s most awarded cyber security and engineering firms.

After transitioning from the Australia Defence Force, Ben successfully founded three of Australia’s most awarded cyber security and engineering firms: AGIS, M5 Network Security, and now Penten.

Through these businesses, Ben worked with Australian government and commercial cyber incident response teams to protect against theft from external and internal threats. He now works on machine learning techniques to help these organisations detect threats using cyber deception. Ben also teaches cyber deception at UNSW, and is the Australian Chapter lead for the Honeynet Project.

In 2019, Ben was named the inaugural Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year

Josh Bolton, Director, Defence

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Joshua is a successful executive with 22 years’ experience in Defence , with a proud background as a specialist Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Army Officer..

Josh is an experienced client engagement lead with an exceptional ability to understand our clients’ requirements.

He has a comprehensive understanding of complex system and security-sensitive capability development, having previously contributed to the modernisation of land, maritime, air and joint communication, information and enterprise geospatial systems.

Merik Karman, Chief Technology Officer

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Merik has over 35 years’ experience with electronics, industrial design, IT, cyber security, secure communications systems, and software engineering (mainly with Defence).

Merik is a recognised leader in mobile security systems architecture. In 2015, he won the esteemed Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia, sponsored by Defence Science and Technology (DST).

He has founded a number of businesses in his career; notably iSecure (acquired by Verizon) and M5 Network Security (acquired by Northrop Grumman).

Merik inspires engineers to create new, world-class technology innovations. He is an effective communicator, equally comfortable communicating complex concepts to Defence leadership and technical experts.

Kristian Howard, Director, Products and Capability

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Kristian is a successful executive with over 20 years’ experience in leadership positions within government and industry.

Kristian’s career includes appointments in Australian Defence and Defence Industry, the US Department of Defense (Army), and NATO.

He has worked across a wide range of technology specialisations, with a strong background in telecommunications, engineering development, systems engineering, and program and operations management. He has a proven record of technical, interpersonal and engagement skills, and has successfully guided teams to accomplish complex modernisation tasks in challenging environments.

Kristian holds a Master of Systems Engineering, a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems (Honours), and a range of industry certifications.

John Hendry, Director, Operations

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John has over 30 years’ experience in the IT industry and is highly skilled in advancing projects from idea to implementation.

John has founded multiple leading internet, telecommunication and cyber security development organisations.

He has delivered complex security, network and communications solutions to government and industry, and is part of the founding group of Penten.