Governing Body Spotlight

Member of the Benelux CISO Community

Marcel van Leent

CISO ABN Amro Clearing


Marcel van Leent is the Global IT Security & Compliance Manager (CISO) at Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE). Marcel has served under multiple roles across several organisations in the consultancy, consumer packaged goods, and telecommunications industries. Marcel holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Cyber Security from Leiden University (2015 – 2017).

Learn more about leaders in the Benelux CISO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I started my career as a software developer, where I gained expertise across various domains, including project management and architecture. In subsequent leadership roles at companies such as KPMG, KPN and NIXU, I had the opportunity to develop my knowledge around different technical and business-oriented roles within the fields of risk and security.

What are your guiding leadership principles?

  • Keep on learning. 
  • Be open and transparent.
  • The best way to learn is by making mistakes.
  • If you are in control, you are not moving fast enough.
  • If you build up and support people, they will flourish. 
  • Create a diverse team where people supplement each other’s skills and knowledge. 
  • If you do not understand the ‘why,’ do not approve. There must be a business reason for each decision made. 
  • Focus on doing the correct things and then focus on doing things correctly. 

With disruption being a key theme of the past few years, where do you see your role as a CISO going in the next 1-2 years?

Over the past few years, I have learnt that the CISO role is not a technological- or IT-driven position. The CISO must become the trusted advisor on risk, and support the business in achieving its business goals in a secure manner. Technology is a tool which can be used to execute these goals efficiently and effectively.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CISO?

Your priority must be to learn about the business your organisation is in. You should build trustful relationships with stakeholders. Moreover, you must emphasise your vision on business enablement as well as the added value you bring to the table.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  • I am a sport fanatic and hate to lose.
  • I love cooking.
  • I consider myself a Marvel fan. 

What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?

Sharing is caring. Being part of this community is vital to learning from peers and staying up to date on the latest developments. By sharing experiences and ideas, we can better support the growth of our businesses.



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