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Press Release

Darktrace Appoints David Smith as Chief People Officer

Cambridge, UK
March 5, 2024
  • CPO brings 15 years’ industry expertise across HR operations and talent development at leading technology businesses

Darktrace, a global leader in cyber security AI, today announces the appointment of David Smith as Chief People Officer (CPO). David will join the executive management team on 15 April 2024 and will report to Poppy Gustafsson, Chief Executive Officer.

David will be responsible for leading the design and delivery of Darktrace’s global people strategy with a focus on strengthening HR operations and ensuring the programmes are in place to build high-performing teams that will help Darktrace deliver on its future growth ambitions.

David has over 15 years’ experience of working across the technology sector in a range of people roles. He joins from 10x Banking, the SaaS Banking Platform, where he held the role of CPO and was responsible for helping to shape the organisational design of the business and creating a high-performance culture. David has also held roles within the people functions of Cleo AI, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Wonga.com and SagePay. More recently, he spent five years at Trainline plc, including as HR & Talent Director during a transformational period for the business when it listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Poppy Gustafsson, Chief Executive Officer of Darktrace, said:

“I am delighted to welcome David to our leadership team at such an exciting time for our business and as we continue to invest in our employee experience. David brings significant experience in shaping company cultures and people strategies in high-growth businesses that are scaling up to become market-leaders. We are lucky to have incredible talent in our teams and I am looking forward to being able to draw on David’s expertise as we implement the people programmes that will enable our innovation pipeline and go-to-market success.”

Commenting on his appointment, David Smith said:

“What strikes me about Darktrace is that there is an institutional passion for innovation and market disruption. I am looking forward to joining the Darktrace team and to helping to shape its culture of collaboration and impact by creating the structures that will enable our people to deliver on the business’s ambitious growth plans.”

David Smith’s appointment as Chief People Officer follows a number of recent notable appointments to the executive team, including Chris Kozup as Chief Marketing Officer and Denise Walter as Chief Revenue Officer in 2023.


Darktrace (DARK.L), a global leader in cyber security artificial intelligence, is on a mission to free the world of cyber disruption. Breakthrough innovations in its Cyber AI Research Centre have resulted in over 165 patents filed and research published to contribute to the cyber security community. Rather than study attacks, Darktrace's technology continuously learns and updates its knowledge of your business data and applies that understanding to optimise your state of optimal cyber security. Darktrace's cyber AI technology provides a full lifecycle approach to cyber resilience across the entire organisation that can autonomously spot and respond to novel in progress threats within seconds. Darktrace employs over 2,300 people around the world and protects approximately 9,200 customers globally from advanced cyber threats. Darktrace was named one of TIME magazine's 'Most Influential Companies' in 2021. To learn more, visit https://darktrace.com/ .