Additional Info

Job title of nominated professional (or team name)Chief Executive Officer
Company (where nominated professional or team is working)INE
Company size (employees)50 to 99
CountryUnited States
Headquarters RegionNorth America


Richard McLain is the Chief Executive Officer at INE. Since 2018, Richard has led the company through a private equity sale, as well as a series of aggressive acquisitions, including (2021), Pentester Academy (2021), Wuvavi (2020), Novodyne (2019), eLearnSecurity (2019), and RMOTR (2019). In 2021 Richard spearheaded a move to cut prices across the board by more than 50%, significantly lowering the barriers to entry into the IT industry for students, while keeping platform and education standards rigorous and intense. WRAL-TV heralded the opportunity for local job-seekers. During that process, Richard led a restructuring of internal departments, bringing in multiple new C-level executives, instructors, and staff within the company to allow for experimentation and expansion. Specific achievements include:
— 21% growth in employee headcount YoY
— 83% growth in Recurring Cash Bookings YoY
— 62% growth in paid subscribers TTM
— 52% growth in Annual Recurring Revenue TTM
While growing the company both internally and externally, Richard has maintained a commitment to serving the broader Information Technology community by mentoring younger students, serving as a subject matter expert to major news outlets, and encouraging other to-level executives to expand their roles as industry thought leaders, resulting in broad media coverage and positive public exposure to the company. At the height of the pandemic, Richard established monthly “All Hands Town Hall” style meetings, open to all company employees. Employees are encouraged to ask members of INE’s Executive Leadership Team any and all questions directly, fostering internal trust, communication, and a sense of community.
Richard McLain has not simply achieved one significant milestone in the last 12 months; he has produced multiple outstanding accomplishments on behalf of INE, its employees, and his personal role as a thought leader and Information Technology industry expert and contributor.


-- Richard McLain is a visionary, with a track record of identifying new industry-changing technologies implementing them for students. In 2021, Richard led INE through an acquisition that enabled the INE platform to host the most advanced cloud-based, hands-on lab environment on the planet. That augmentation is already impacting students in a very real-world capacity. Scenarios can be created and/or changed at a moment's notice to reflect real-world threats, in the recent cases of Log4j and WannaCry Ransomware. In a matter of hours, INE spun up labs to train students in real-time to defend against these attacks. Richard’s ability to identify opportunities that are ultimately game-changing for cybersecurity is unmatched.
-- Richard prioritizes giving back – in every capacity. He never hesitates to offer mentorship to young students. One such relationship gained broad recent media attention when he began sponsoring a teenage student who is working to become the youngest CCIE in the world. Making elite IT education affordable for everyone in the world is his mission, and he works to fulfill that by keeping training prices lower than competitors, engaging with students, and spurring the creation of sponsorship opportunities.
-- “Innovation and creativity are encouraged” … “Investment in personnel and department growth” … “I appreciate the transparency senior leadership shows.” These quotes come directly from an anonymous internal survey conducted on 7/19/21 regarding what it is like to work at INE under Richard McLain’s leadership. Under Richard’s leadership, INE created the successful professional development program “Get Hungry Get Certified,” in which employees are encouraged to complete, and be reimbursed for, professional training. Richard recently led the overhaul of a benefits program including unlimited Paid Time Off, a more robust parental leave policy, and the addition of holidays to the company calendar.