Chief Software Officer
Nic Chaillan started young. He created his first computer game aged 12 and made some money from it, enabling him to start his first company aged 16. He would go on to found 12 companies over the next 20 years, selling 185 IP products to Fortune 500 companies. So what led him to the US Air Force, a far cry from the start-up culture he was used to?
“I wanted to make a difference,” says Chaillan. Terrorism was stalking the world, and the attacks had felt close to home when the capital of Chaillan’s native France, Paris, was one of the victims. He joined the Department of Homeland Security in 2016 as Chief Architect. The move would lead him to senior postings in the Department of Defense and, eventually, to his current role in the US Air Force where he is the first Chief Software Officer, not just in that branch of the military, but in government at large.
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“It's very different recruiting people for something you're building from scratch, compared to recruiting for something that is already running.”