1) What three things attracted you to FireMon?
First and foremost, the team here is incredible – the executives are all serious professionals who have been there and done it and that gives me real confidence. Secondly, FireMon is a true market leader that created the market for network security policy management and continues to grow at a staggering rate, outpacing even the market itself.
2) What experience and skills do you bring to the table?
I’ve operated in multiple business scenarios, from pure startup at MessageOne and pre and post IPO at pcOrder to large global operations at Dell and rejuvenating an old market leader at MD Buyline. All of this means I am adaptable, yet able to spot major inflections in time to correct the course if need be.
My early business training at McKinsey taught me the importance of staying true to the business model, always keeping an eye on key metrics and focusing on solving large complex problems that are mission-critical to customers.
3) Do you have a set of core values or management philosophy that you will bring to FireMon?
I’ve always believed that courage is a key value in any situation – the ability to run towards issues and face them head on, rather than back away from them is a value I like to live by. In terms of business management, employees mean everything – if you take care of them, they will take care of customers and turn them into heroes within their respective organizations.
I am also biased for action and feel that directness and transparency should always be exercised – bad news does not get better with age!
4) What are the first few things you’ll do as CEO for FireMon?
I find that there is so much to gain from listening. As such, I will start by meeting with customers, employees and channel partners and listening to what they have to say to develop an independent point of view. Through these discussions I will learn enough to determine where the priorities are and execute plans to reach my targets.
5) Where would you like to see FireMon in near and not so near future?
Of course, I’d love to see FireMon continue to grow faster than the market, and we also have the potential to expand it through thought leadership and pushing boundaries.
Attracting talent will also be a big priority as I will want to establish FireMon as a clear global magnet for talent across the industry. Further down the line, as an established global leader, we will add the resources to be able to have the footprint of a local company in each major market.
6) What is the most important thing(s) for a CEO to focus their time/attention on?
The CEO needs to bring everyone together, creating a single unifying vision for the company and getting everyone aligned. As CEO, I must also embody these core values of the company and set clear performance standards which hold teams accountable. When we see success, we see it together and where there are failures, we fail together.
7) What are the companies/brands you most admire?
I admire two companies for very different reasons, the first is Amazon for its relentless focus on delighting customers and providing great value and the second is the Gates Foundation for its metrics-driven approach to philanthropy – getting the most “bang for the buck” for humankind.