Three Questions with SailPoint Chief People Officer Abby Payne

In late 2011, our Chief People Officer Abby Payne joined the SailPoint team. At that time, SailPoint had about 100 employees in six countries and was anticipating a phase of growth past true “startup mode.” Fast forward to today, SailPoint is now considered the leader in identity, with more than 1,200 employees in more than 25 countries and is entering another growth period.   

As we look to an even greater scale, Abby was recently promoted to Chief People Officer in 2019. When she’s not focused on attracting and retaining the best talent (a huge component of her job), she is working on scaling the best parts of SailPoint’s culture—letting go of stuff that doesn’t serve the company and embracing the new. So, what’s the secret sauce? We sat down with Abby to get to know the person behind the people.     

SailPoint: What is your biggest strength and where do you draw inspiration? 

AP: I consider my intuition as my superpower—my gut instinct is my strength. It tells me everything I need to know and has served me so well. I learned over the years when to listen to it fully, and when to pick up on little signals, but most importantly, I’ve learned how to use that information in a way that is useful and meaningful. I especially love when I cross-reference it with data and it proves that my gut is right.  

I am really inspired by the unique passion that people have for SailPoint. I find it incredibly exciting to see people find their place here and really connect to this organization. I also draw inspiration from Mark McClain, our CEO. He is the true “Chief People Officer.” Our crew members’ success always energizes him and it’s always refreshing and infectious!     

SailPoint: What was the biggest career-defining moment for you? 

AP: I don’t believe there has been one single moment, but there are two things I always point to that have helped grow my career. The first is finding both an external mentor and an internal champion. My personal mentor has tracked with me over time through multiple companies but it’s equally critical to find a champion inside the business. The second thing that has created the most value for me is my personal relationships. I am intentional in maintaining my connections with people both inside and outside the company.  It’s work but it’s worth it. 

SailPoint: How do you define success? 

AP: Success to me is helping others find success.  I love the people at SailPoint and I like coming to work!  I am grateful for that – I know it’s unusual!  Success to me is that I have been chosen to be at SailPoint. I am fortunate to be here.  


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