Press release

Styra Announces Strategic Additions to Senior Leadership Team

Sponsored by Businesswire

Styra, Inc., the founders of Open Policy Agent (OPA) and leaders in cloud-native authorization, today announced two strategic hires to its senior leadership team. Steve Erickson and Paul Murphy will serve as vice presidents of engineering and sales respectively to support the company’s innovation and growth. The company today also shared its 2020 results, including over 300 percent growth year-over-year, 90 percent headcount growth and record-breaking open source success with OPA. The new hires bring proven policy and open source experience to help Styra expand its rapidly growing customer base, support the OPA community and provide more teams access to Styra Declarative Authorization Service (DAS), giving them guardrails for Kubernetes and microservices.

Blog post: Styra 2020 Year in Review from CEO Bill Mann

Steve Erickson will be bringing deep policy security expertise to the engineering team as VP. In his time as an engineering leader at Illumio, Erickson was responsible for end-to-end policy management, distribution and enforcement capabilities within the Illumio Core and Illumio Edge products. Before Illumio, Erickson held engineering leadership roles at Juniper Networks and a Juniper divestiture, Pulse Secure.

“I’m so thrilled by the opportunity to accelerate feature and product updates for Styra DAS, so more OPA users can manage policy at scale across their cloud-native environments,” said Erickson. “Styra DAS and OPA fill an important policy and security gap within the cloud-native stack, and I’m looking forward to growing and scaling our engineering team to meet the demands of a market that is maturing quickly and has clearly reached a major inflection point.”

Like Erickson, Murphy comes to Styra with a strong cloud-native background. In his role with FOSSA, Murphy was the head of global sales, and prior to that, he ran sales for Sysdig. Additional past experience includes a variety of executive and leadership roles at DataCore Software, VMware and Netapp.

“Styra is a rocket ship, and I’m thrilled to be on board and part of the team that built both OPA and Styra DAS,” said Murphy. “I am passionate about the speed, automation and portability that cloud-native can provide, and I’ve helped countless companies make their digital transformations and embrace the cloud. Here at Styra, I’ll be helping our customers get more from OPA, so they can move to the cloud while also minimizing risk, mitigating errors and ensuring that deployments are both secure and compliant.”

“The cloud-native market is expanding exponentially, thanks in part to successful open source tools like Kubernetes, Envoy and Open Policy Agent,” said Bill Mann, chief executive officer at Styra. “The extraordinary success Styra saw in 2020 shows that we’ve reached a level of market maturity that means it’s the perfect time to bring in seasoned execs like Steve and Paul, to help us reach the next stages of our vision of unified authorization across the stack.”

Record growth for Styra in 2020

In addition to new hires, Styra DAS adoption grew 3x in 2020 due to global demand for an authorization solution that meets the flexibility and scale demands of Kubernetes and cloud-native environments. OPA also experienced tremendous growth in 2020 and was awarded graduated status from the CNCF after meeting the foundation’s criteria for community growth and project adoption. The project saw downloads grow from six million to over 35 million in 2020 alone.

Connect with Styra


Styra Twitter

Styra blog

Open Policy Agent Twitter

Open Policy Agent blog

About Styra

Styra enables enterprises to define, enforce and monitor policy across their cloud-native environments. With a combination of open source (Open Policy Agent) and commercial solutions (Declarative Authorization Service), Styra provides security, operations and compliance guardrails to protect applications, as well as the infrastructure they run on. Styra policy-as-code solutions lets developers, DevOps and security teams mitigate risks, reduce human error and accelerate application development. Learn more at