Our Leadership

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The cPanel Executive Team

There are few companies that can boast having a CEO have as much of a hand in the development of the web hosting industry as cPanel’s, J. Nick Koston. Looking back on the history of the Internet, you’ll find few who’ve had as much of an impact on its growth, development, and drastic advancement as Nick. Prior to cPanel, the majority of procedures for placing websites online were done by hand. The process was painstakingly long, and made it nearly impossible for any company to achieve levels of scale conducive to serious profitability.

Nick Koston – Chief Executive Officer

Nick was 14 when he first began to really delve into the hosting industry. Nick’s mother, Barbara “Barb” Koston, attributes Nick’s life success to sheer persistence. When he sees something that he wants, he goes after it and makes it happen. Persistence, dedication, and hard work have been recurring themes throughout Nick’s life.

“cPanel is the first commercially available modern control panel.”

Starting as a young, teenage systems administrator in 1996, Nick quickly identified that there was an abundance of redundancies in web hosting that could be automated. From there, Nick set his path to finding a solution, and the rest is history.

Nick has been described as innovative, fast-paced, persistent, compassionate, giving, and generous. Nick is the kind of leader who would never ask his employees to do something he wouldn’t himself be willing to do.

This work ethic extends way beyond words— it has been proven. For nearly half a decade, Nick handled every single facet of the company from development to support. Nick has literally worn every hat in this company— often times simultaneously.


Aaron Phillips – Chief Business Officer

In third grade, if one of Aaron’s teachers would have asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up, the unlikely answer would have been, “I want to work for companies started by 14-year-old geniuses.”

Fortunately, his path lead him to do just that and gain invaluable experience during the process. As Chief Business Officer, Aaron leads the teams responsible for Technical Support, Customer Service, Marketing, and Account Management.

cPanel has provided Aaron the ability to continue feeding his passion, developing long-term relationships, and staying connected with an industry that he has grown up with since his early days back in Iowa, where he is from.

Aaron believes that years of learning and experiencing successes and failures while working in the web hosting industry has allowed him to become the well-rounded leader that he is today.


Jon Villanti – Vice President of Internal Operations

Jon Villanti is the newest member of cPanel’s executive team and brings a well rounded perspective of business savvy to the table. He leads the efforts for employee development and support, financials, facilities, and all things legal @ cPanel.

In his spare time, Jon enjoys working in the Air Force Reserves on cyber security and protecting the world from the evildoers that threaten our way of living. He also teaches a Master’s level course at the SANS Institute, called “Hacker Techniques, Exploits, and Incident Handling”. When Jon is not busy teaching or handling official duties in the armed forces, he enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and two dogs.

Jon is forging new paths at cPanel by introducing new positions specially tailored to the specific needs of cPanel employees. Other companies call this department Human Resources, but at cPanel, we call it the Employee Support Department.

Jon is also very excited to have finally found a company that will propel his Twitter followers from the dozens to the 1,000’s. Follow him: @houston_jon


S. Eric Ellis – Director of Development Operations

Eric has been a part of the web hosting industry for more than 13 years and has a rich background in Linux and Windows-based hosting solutions.

He started at cPanel as a Technical Analyst, spent two years working on the Enkompass project, three years serving as Support Manager, and is currently Director of Development Operations. You can follow Eric via Twitter as @ericellis.


Kenneth Power – Director of Development

Ken has worked with Linux since 1995, when he installed Slackware 2.1 on his home computer. He has IT experience both inside and outside of the web hosting industry.

Ken has been a part of cPanel for more than five years in quality assurance and project management roles. He is currently Director of Development. Ken enjoys technology-related subjects and spending time with his family.


Aaron Stone – Director of Internal Development

Aaron joined cPanel in 2009 as the founding member of the Internal Development Department. Internal Development is responsible for all applications that support cPanel & WHM, including the cPanel Store, Manage2, and Ticket System.

Aaron has a passion for solving problems and automating processes. Under his leadership, Internal Development has grown from a one-person operation into a team of 12 developers performing both development and DevOps functions.

Before joining cPanel, Aaron graduated from the University of Houston – Downtown with a B.S. in Computer Science and spent 20 years in the manufacturing sector, specifically Factory Automation and Product Engineering.