I’m thrilled to announce that today we are announcing Mark McLaughlin as Palo Alto Network’s new President and CEO.
Mark joins Palo Alto Networks from VeriSign (VRSN) where he has been President and CEO since 2009. We selected Mark for his exceptional leadership capabilities, his intensity and commitment, his passion for innovation, strong cultural fit with the Palo Alto Networks team and prior experience in the security sector. A West Point graduate, Mark began his career as an attack helicopter pilot. He has held business development and sales leadership positions earlier in his career and held increasingly senior leadership positions at VeriSign over the last decade (including ownership for all products and marketing). He is also an insider in Internet infrastructure and serves on President Obama’s national security telecommunications advisory committee.
Palo Alto Networks is a once-in-a-decade company. PAN just completed a record quarter, has an installed base of over 4,500 customers and is at a bookings run rate of over $200 million. The company is in the midst of rapid growth and expansion — PAN recently moved into new corporate headquarters in the bay area and expects to hire more than 300 new employees in the coming year. PAN has been on a very strong sales growth curve since inception and is one of the fastest growing companies in the enterprise IT sector.
Nir Zuk founded PAN in early 2005 with an initial seed round from Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital, and worked out of Greylock’s offices during 2005. After multiple brainstorming sessions and customer visits together, Nir had the bold vision and ambition to re-enter the mainstream network security market with a disruptive next-generation firewall approach. Nir was joined by Rajiv Batra (a world-class engineering leader) and began shipping product in the summer of 2007.
We’re looking forward to the start of the next chapter in the company’s history as Mark helps Palo Alto Networks scale and grow into the industry’s largest independent network security company.