Cloudflare, in its IPO filing, thanks a third co-founder: Lee Holloway
Not every co-founder is acknowledged at the companies that they help to launch. Sometimes, they quit or they’re elbowed out. Often, they’re conveniently written out of the company’s history.
In the case of Cloudflare, a third co-founder who began the company with its higher-profile CEO, Matthew Prince, and its COO, Michelle Zatlyn, is little known outside the company for a very different reason. As Cloudflare states in an S-1 IPO filing that it made public today, “Tragically, Lee stepped down from Cloudflare in 2015, suffering the debilitating effects of Frontotemporal Dementia, a rare neurological disease.”
Frontotemporal dementia impacts between 50,000 and 60,000 Americans, according to a rough estimate cited by the Alzheimer’s Association, and it tends to impact younger people, often beginning in their 40s.
Though the cause isn’t known, a person’s risk for developing frontotemporal dementia — wherein the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain shrink — is higher if there’s a family history of dementia, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Cloudflare did not respond today to questions about Holloway, but Prince and Zatlyn, in a section of the filing addressed to potential shareholders, credit Holloway as the “genius who architected our platform and recruited and led