Forescout Gets 4th CEO Since 2020, Hires Barry MainzEx-Malwarebytes, MobileIron Exec Charged With Driving Sustained, Profitable Growth
Forescout will have its fourth CEO since September 2020. It tapped former Malwarebytes COO and MobileIron CEO Barry Mainz to take over as its top leader.
The San Jose, California-based IoT security vendor brought in Mainz to replace Wael Mohamed, who started as Forescout's CEO in March 2021 and disclosed plans to leave the chief executive position in October 2022. Mohamed took the reins at Forescout from ex-Symantec CEO Greg Clark - who led Forescout for just five months and now chairs its board - while Clark replaced Mike DeCesare, who led Forescout for the previous six years (see: Forescout CEO Wael Mohamed to Exit as Firm Lays Off Workers).
"Barry is a passionate and inspirational leader who delivers customer value, builds strong teams and drives operational discipline and rigor," Clark says in a statement. "His experience across scaled and innovative companies makes him an ideal leader to take the company to the next level."
Layoffs Loom Large
Mainz's arrival at Forescout follows two rounds of layoffs since October. The company parted with 100 employees in late October around the same time as Mohamed's announced exit, and earlier this month, the firm axed 100 of the 170 workers at its Israel R&D center, or 10% of its total workforce, Calcalist reported. Forescout confirmed both rounds of layoffs but wouldn't disclose how many workers were affected.
"We made targeted workforce reductions, with the majority in the product organization in our two Tel Aviv locations, as we integrate key acquisitions, sharpen our focus on customer needs and execute on our strategy," a Forescout spokesperson told Information Security Media Group earlier this month.
Mainz is no stranger to layoffs himself, having overseen a 14% workforce reduction - or 125 employees - in August 2022 as Malwarebytes refocused its energies on small and midsized clients. Then a month later, Mainz helped Malwarebytes land a $100 million investment from private equity firm Vector Capital. Mainz was Malwarebytes' COO from 2018 to 2022 and ran sales, marketing, growth and operations (see: Malwarebytes Cuts 14% of Staff to Narrow Focus on SMB).
"We are excited for Barry's appointment as CEO as he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role," Bryan Taylor, head of Advent International's technology investment team, says in a statement Tuesday. "We are confident that under his leadership, the company will continue to thrive and achieve even greater success."
Prior to joining Malwarebytes, Mainz spent two years as president and CEO of publicly traded mobile security vendor MobileIron, where he focused on mobile device management, enterprise mobility management and unified endpoint management. MobileIron was bought in 2020 by IT asset and service management software developer Ivanti for $872 million. At the same time, Ivanti acquired Pulse Secure.
"Taking care of our customers, and listening to them is priority #1," Mainz wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "Operating cadence and execution are also key ingredients for a prosperous future. My focus over the coming months is to build on the strong foundation that is already in place, execute on our strategy and take the company to new heights."
New Blood in the C-Suite
Mainz says Forescout's technology and product management team will be led by newly promoted Chief Technology Officer Justin Foster, newly hired Vice President of Product Management Paul Kao, and existing Chief Product Officer and SVP of Engineering Kevin O'Leary. Kao joins Forescout after 20 years at Symantec and Blue Coat Systems, while Foster was promoted from CTO of Cysiv - which was purchased in 2022 - to CTO of Forescout.
George McTaggart was promoted from Cysiv's vice president of marketing to chief marketing officer for all of Forescout. The company bought 150-person startup Cysiv in June 2022 to help OT and IoT customers analyze, detect and respond to threats using cloud-native data analytics. The firm also hired Sloane Stricker, CIO of healthcare firm GHX, to lead Forescout's infrastructure, governance and security organization.
"With these additional leaders, we have the right team in place to take Forescout to the next level," Mainz wrote in the blog post. "Our technology platform solves critical challenges today, and we are ready to deliver new innovation for the future."
The Cysiv acquisition was one of two deals carried out by Mohamed during his 22 months as CEO. Six months before buying Cysiv, Forescout purchased 50-person startup CyberMDX in a push to become the global leader in safeguarding networked medical devices (see: Forescout to Buy Threat Detection and Response Vendor Cysiv).
Just 49% of Forescout's annual revenue in 2019 was recurring in nature, and the company grew sales by 13% to $336.8 million while losing $118.5 million on a GAAP basis, according to a Forescout blog post and regulatory filings from the time. Forescout in 2022 achieved more than 80% recurring revenue with both strong annual recurring revenue growth and a transition to profitability, Mainz wrote in a blog Tuesday.
"We now have a modern, recurring-revenue, growing, profitable, highly visible business," Mainz wrote. "We also have marquee customers, across all verticals, where our platform is managing network access for all endpoints."
Forescout was acquired in August 2020 by private equity firm Advent International in a contentious $1.4 billion sale. Advent initially planned in February 2020 to buy Forescout for $1.9 billion, but the two sides ended up in court after Advent attempted to walk away from the deal in May 2020.
Just days before the Forescout-Advent trial was scheduled to begin, the two sides settled and moved forward with the acquisition after agreeing to lower the purchase price by $500 million. As part of the deal, Advent partnered with Crosspoint Capital on the Forescout purchase, which opened up a board seat for Clark. Mainz has served as an operating partner at Crosspoint since November 2022.
Despite making two acquisitions over the past two years, Forescout's headcount today is 1% lower than it was two years ago due to layoffs and attrition, according to LinkedIn. Forescout over the past six months has seen the steepest cuts to its business development and IT organizations, while the headcount in sales and engineering has risen slightly, LinkedIn found.