Software veteran Dave Sikora to lead Austin intelligence firm

Posted May 4th, 2016

Stratfor, the Austin-based global intelligence firm, has named software industry veteran Dave Sikora as its new CEO.

Sikora said he intends to lead the 20-year-old company through a new wave of growth, including launching the company's first digital app and expanding content offerings.

Stratfor publishes geopolitical analysis and forecasting for individuals and organizations around the world. It also consults with clients to about strategic decisions and managing political and security risks.

Sikora succeeds Shea Morenz, who was CEO for four years. Morenz will continue as an adviser and member of Stratfor's board of directors, the company said. 

 The move comes six months after Stratfor received a $12 million investment from Teakwood Capital for expansion. 

Following the investment, Sikora, who is a Teakwood executive partner, became executive chairman at Stratfor and began spending time with the company. 

Because of his technology industry background, Sikora said he wasn't initially sure he'd be a long-term fit for Stratfor. 

"My first comment was 'I'm a software guy. I don't know much about media,' " he said. "But as we went through the process, I got excited because it feels like the media business and the software business in some respects converge." 

Sikora said current world events, which are dominated by regional conflicts around the world, make Stratfor's services more relevant than ever. 

"The world has become very complicated, and there are a lot of people from across the demographic spectrum -- from professionals to millennials -- who are interested in global affairs and seeking insight into what's happening in the world," he said. 

Sikora most recently founded and served as CEO of Digby, an Austin based startup that was among the first to build mobile storefronts for major retailers and brands. Prior to that, Sikora held CEO positions at Austin software companies including Ventix, Question Technologies and Pervasive Software. 

Stratfor has about 500,000 unique visitors to its website each month and reaches more than a million readers through its digital partners and other distribution platforms.

A basic annual subscription costs $349, with specials offers starting at $129.99. 

Sikora said he wants to build out an online subscription service at the enterprise level. 

"The idea is to take our base consumer subscription service and contextualize that for various segments such as financial services, energy, risk management and corporate governance," he said. "It's never really been done, and that's where we are going to be making a lot of investments."