Forescout will have its third CEO in six months after tapping former Trend Micro President and COO Wael Mohamed to take over as its top leader.
The IoT security vendor brought in Mohamed to replace Greg Clark, who had just started as Forescout’s CEO in October 2020 after leading Symantec for many years. Clark took over for Michael DeCesare, who ran Forescout for nearly six years but left after the company’s contentious US$1.4 billion sale to private equity firm Advent International. Clark and DeCesare continue to lead Forescout’s board.
“Wael is an industry visionary and brings an incredible amount of cybersecurity, digital transformation and cloud experience to Forescout,” Bryan Taylor, head of Advent’s technology investment team, said in a statement. “We have built a strong leadership team to capture Forescout’s unprecedented market opportunity as we secure the Enterprise of Things. We are now adding in our long-term CEO.”
With the latest CEO change, only one of the seven members of Forescout’s leadership team predates Advent taking the company private in August 2020, as Chief Technology Officer Rob McNutt has been with the company for more than eight months.
Mohamed joined Trend Micro in May 2009 following its acquisition of Third Brigade, which he co-founded. He came to Trend Micro as a vice president and rose up the ranks, spending his final five years as the Tokyo-based endpoint security vendor’s COO and final three years as president before leaving in December 2018. Mohamed helped Trend Micro add more than $4 billion in shareholder value.
“Forescout is at the heart of one of the biggest security and compliance challenges that enterprises face today,” Mohamed said in a statement. “I am thrilled to join the talented management team and work closely with Greg and the Board so we can further accelerate our growth and continue to deliver innovation that helps enterprises mitigate risks brought on by the billions of network-connected devices.”
Aside from McNutt, every other top executive at Forescout has recently left, with CEO DeCesare leaving in October and Clark leaving with the appointment of Mohamed; CFO Christopher Harms, CRO Steve Redman, General Counsel Darren Millkin and Global Channel Chief Jonathan Corini leaving in the fall; and Chief Product and Strategy Officer Pedro Abreu, CMO Neville Letzerich and Chief Technology and People Officer Julie Cullivan leaving over the winter.
Advent initially planned in February 2020 to buy Forescout for US$1.9 billion, but the two sides ended up in court after Advent attempted to walk away from the deal in May.
Just five days before the Forescout-Advent trial was scheduled to begin, the two sides settled and agreed to move forward with the acquisition after the purchase price was lowered by $500 million. As part of the agreement, former Symantec CFO Nicholas Noviello took over as Forescout’s CFO and COO, and Clark was named DeCesare’s replacement.
They brought along other Symantec executives, including Senior Vice President of Americas Sales Steve Tchejeyan, who became Forescout’s CRO; Vice President of Network Security Kevin O’Leary, who became CPO; Vice President of Legal and Global Enterprise Sales Amanda Barry, who became general counsel; VP of Americas Marketing Kerry Ford, who was named to lead revenue marketing; RVP of Sales Rob Amezcua, who became vice president, Americas Enterprise Sales; and Americas Channel Chief Keith Weatherford, who became global channel chief.
Forescout said it has attracted new leaders and talent, streamlined its organizational structure and processes, and invested in R&D over the past six months. The company today employs 1,006 people, down 13 percent from 1,155 employees a year ago, according to LinkedIn. The steepest cuts have come in business development and sales, where head count is down 25 percent and 19 percent, respectively.