Bold Leader Spotlight: Ryan Disraeli, Co-Founder and CEO of TeleSign

ryan disraeli bold leader

At 19-years old, Ryan Disraeli committed himself in the pursuit of a vision. What was his vision? Nothing that was precisely defined or mapped out at that time. But it did involve creating innovative solutions for others that would change the world. With a passion for entrepreneurship, Disraeli has persevered, advancing his bold leadership in the process. And it’s a major reason that he has been named CEO of the international two-factor authentication company, TeleSign.

a cartoon of ryan disraeli of telesign revolutionized app and web security through the two factor authentication
Bold Leader Ryan Disraeli and two other co-founders of TeleSign brings two-factor authentication to the world.

Disraeli’s impact has been tremendous. He and the other two co-founders of TeleSign have revolutionized app and website security. In fact, most companies are using their innovation because of the enhanced digital security features. But the journey for Disraeli and his partners has been a challenging one. And one that cultivated an array of bold leadership traits allowing Disraeli to achieve tremendous success along the way.

ryan disraeli on positivity
Bold leadership means knowing how to keep the balance when the going gets tough.

Innovation and Collaboration Through Two-Factor Authentication 

Once Disraeli realized two-factor authentication services was a game-changer for digital mobile security, the direction became clear. TeleSign would seek to provide these services to an array of clients globally to enhance digital security and customer engagement. Since the 2005 launching of TeleSign, Disraeli has seen his fair share of challenges. But rather than allowing such challenges to be barriers, he instead used them as opportunities to excel.

“One of the greatest qualities of a bold leader is the willingness to take risks. While running a company, you will face plenty of obstacles. Some problems you will know how to solve, and some questions you will know how to answer; however, there will always be situations that you may have never seen before and that is when a leader needs to trust their intuition and take risks.” -Ryan Disraeli

One of Disraeli’s unique leadership abilities is his capacity for creating trusting and collaborative relationships with others. With his colleagues, with whom he founded TeleSign, Disraeli often engages in passionate debates about strategies and innovations. “As a leader in business and in the community, I identify one of my bold qualities as empowering others. Because we started while I was still in University, I am personally passionate about empowering first-time entrepreneurs and helping with their ventures,” he says.

With his clients, he strives to identify what problems they have that need to be solved. Through these efforts, a participatory and creative culture emerges that fosters solutions and growth. This focus lies at the heart of Disraeli’s bold leadership style.

two-factor authentication success, product of ryan disraeli's leadership qualities
Ryan Disraeli’s leadership qualities transcend TeleSign.

Driven by Results and Guided by Values

From 2005 to 2008, TeleSign struggled as a startup company offering its two-factor authentication services. For Disraeli, however, this did not deter his efforts to realize the vision for the company. Through strong commitment and perseverance, Disraeli was relentless in seeking customers, knowing one major client could change everything. And in 2008, that happened. The passion and drive that Disraeli exhibits as a leader is a significant reason TeleSign is now a global leader in two-factor authentication.

But while a passion and drive for success fuel Disraeli’s dedication as a leader, he is also value-focused. While many startups seek venture capital funding early, TeleSign did not despite its technologies. Disraeli and his cofounders wanted to grow organically and leverage real profits to help self-fund the company’s growth. Likewise, they accepted a buyout offer from BICS at a price less than their valuation because of non-monetary advantages. While target results are key, Disraeli appreciates the importance of getting them in alignment with key values.

ryan disraeli works with global brands
Giant companies around the world acknowledge TeleSign as a partner in security and communications.

Ryan Disraeli: Focusing on Solutions for a Global Society

Whenever Disraeli approaches a client, the focus is always on the specific needs of that client. In a very similar way, he also perceives global society as having inherent needs in order to thrive. From this leadership perspective, he is constantly considering how TeleSign can best advance digital security, engagement, and access throughout the world. This led to the development of two-factor authentication, and it also made the BICS acquisition attractive.

Profitability is naturally important and a significant aspect of a company’s success. But for Disraeli, this is not the only objective. Leaders who want to provide global solutions for global problems will continue to be the leaders of tomorrow. Fortunately, he appreciates this and maintains a focus on the broader needs of society rather than an isolated marketplace. With a desire to make digital communications and interactions safer for all, he aligns TeleSign’s goals with societal needs as well.

Young, Passionate and Bold in Leadership

Disraeli graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California not that long ago. Yet, he and his fellow co-founders of TeleSign have already been recognized USC Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2018. In addition, Disraeli has also been identified by Forbes Magazine as one of their “30 under 30”. This profiles some of the boldest entrepreneurial leaders of our times. He is certainly deserving of these honors.

“Many leadership styles can be successful, but it is important to be yourself and develop your own style. A substantial factor in my leadership style is recognizing and utilizing the talents of the people around me. An important trait of every leader is being able to recognize talent and put them in a position to be successful.” -Ryan Disraeli

As the recently appointed CEO of TeleSign, Disraeli will guide the company forward as a global leader in two-factor authentication. His bold leadership to date has awarded him this position. And the leadership attributes he exhibits today will likely forge new paths in this evolving sector well beyond two-factor authentication. Disraeli has a profound knowledge of digital security and communications, which is why he is leading TeleSign moving forward. But his leadership abilities extend well past his knowledge, as his past performance clearly shows.

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