Check Point Software Technologies has brought on former Oracle and Intel marketing leader Rupal Hollenbeck to lead the company’s global sales and marketing operations.
The platform security vendor has tasked Hollenbeck with building a unified go-to-market organisation based out of Silicon Valley as chief commercial officer.
She starts Monday and will replace Chief Customer Officer Dan Yerushalmi, who is based in Israel and has managed the company’s global sales organisation since 2018 and is leaving to focus on family and personal interests.
“Rupal’s extensive experience and her in-depth knowledge of Check Point as a board member perfectly positions her to lead this new organisation to new records,” Check Point founder and CEO Gil Shwed said in a statement. “We are thankful for Dan’s significant contribution to Check Point and are very proud of the results he has achieved.”
Hollenbeck was appointed to Check Point’s board in January 2021 as an independent director following a two-year stint as Oracle’s chief marketing officer. Prior to that, she spent 23 years at Intel, culminating in a two-year stint as corporate vice president and general manager of data centre sales and marketing. Hollenbeck most recently spent a year as chief marketing officer at AI computing firm Cerebras Systems.
At Check Point, both Chief Marketing Officer Peter Alexander and Worldwide Head of Channel Sales Frank Rauch will report to Hollenbeck. Alexander started at Check Point in 2017 and previously reported into Shwed, while Rauch started in 2019 and previously reported into Yerushalmi. Alexander and Rauch are both based in the US.
“I’ve known Check Point and admired its consistent global security leadership over many years, and was fortunate to sit on its Board of Directors in its strongest year,” Hollenbeck said in a statement.
“Check Point’s go-to-market teams consist of seasoned professionals and subject matter experts in the critical domain of cybersecurity.”
Check Point’s stock is unchanged at US$143.90 per share in pre-market trading Wednesday.
“Building the infrastructure for sustainable growth was my primary goal when joining Check Point. Now, as I feel I’ve achieved this goal, I want to invest much needed time in my family and pursue some personal objectives,” Yerushalmi said.
“It is time for the Company to build on this success to its next level with Rupal and the new organisation, and we will invest in a seamless transition to ensure that.”
Check Point enjoyed modest growth in 2021, with sales increasing 5 percent on a year-over-year basis to US$2.17 billion. That was similar to Cisco Systems’ security business, where sales climbed 7 percent to US$3.38 billion. Firewall rivals Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks have grown much more aggressively in the past year, with sales increasing 29 percent to US$3.34 billion and 25 percent to US$4.26 billion, respectively.
Check Point has long struggled to gain market traction in North America, with Rauch telling CRN in April 2021, “The Americas is a tough battleground for us. There’s a home-field advantage for a couple of our key competitors.”
Cisco, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks have many of their top executives in the Bay area, while most of Check Point’s executive management team is based in Israel.
The company attempted to improve its fortunes in the Americas in April by hiring longtime VMware cloud sales leader Geoff Waters to oversee the company’s 750-person field sales operation in North America and Latin America. He previously reported into Yerushalmi and now reports into Hollenbeck. Waters replaced Chris Scanlan, who left Check Point in January 2021 to become CEO of DeFY Security.