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Banjo Appoints New CEO as its Founder Resigns Over White Supremacist Past

By George Paul
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Photo Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com

Softbank-backed public safety tech startup Banjo, announced that Justin Lindsey will take over as CEO after the resignation of current CEO Damien Patton. Lindsey has served as Banjo’s Chief Technology Officer since September 2019.

Patton decided to leave Banjo after his troubled past and connection to a white supremacist group was revealed this week, causing prominent contracts, like one with the Attorney General of Utah, to be suspended.

As CEO Justin Lindsey will continue Banjo's core mission dedication to technology solutions that protect privacy.

Before Banjo, Lindsey worked as an Operating Partner at private equity firm General Atlantic from 2018 to 2019. Prior to General Atlantic, Lindsey held executive positions at Disney subsidiary BAMTECH Media, Bridgewater Associates, and Netezza, which is now owned by IBM. Lindsey also worked for the US government as the CTO of the FBI from 2001 to 2002 and the CTO of the US Justice Department from 2003 to 2006.

In a company blog post, Patton said, “I am confident Banjo’s greatest days are still ahead, and will do everything in my power to ensure our mission succeeds. However, under the current circumstances, I believe Banjo’s best path forward is under different leadership.”

Lindsey said, "Nine months ago I was inspired by Banjo's mission to join the company full time as the CTO. As CEO, I’m looking forward to continuing Banjo's dedication to technology solutions that protect privacy.”

Banjo isn’t the first tech company with ties to law enforcement that has been rocked by connections to extremist groups. Earlier this year, a report HuffPost revealed that the founder of facial recognition startup Clearview AI had connections to far-right and white supremacist groups.

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