Arik Hesseldahl

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HP Exec Alan Kessler Leaves for CEO Role at Vormetric

Vormetric, a player in the business of enterprise-grade encryption and key management, said today that it had named Alan Kessler, a former VP at tech giant Hewlett-Packard and a veteran of several tech companies including Palm and 3Com, as its new CEO.

Kessler’s most recent title at HP was VP of worldwide sales and service for enterprise security products, where he was responsible for running its security portfolio, including ArcSight, TippingPoint and Fortify.

Kessler’s resume includes a stint as the president and COO of Palm back in the late 1990s when it was still a subsidiary of 3Com. (Both Palm and 3Com eventually ended up being acquired, though separately, by HP.) While at Palm, he took primary responsibility for the software business and oversaw the growth of its community of software developers, which went from 25,000 to north of 100,000. He first joined 3Com in 1985.

After 3Com, he ran two storage companies, Intransa and Attune Systems, before landing at TippingPoint, a security company 3Com had acquired in 2004. TippingPoint was one of the primary assets that attracted the interest of HP when it spent $2.7 billion to acquire 3Com in 2009.

Here’s Vormetric’s original announcement.

Enterprise Encryption Leader Taps Proven Business Leader and Security Industry Veteran to Further Accelerate Growth in Domestic and Global Markets

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nov. 13, 2012 –Vormetric, Inc., the leader in enterprise encryption and key management today announced the appointment of IT startup and public company veteran Alan Kessler as the company’s new President and CEO and member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Kessler will lead Vormetric’s expansion into new markets and extend the company’s leadership position within the data security sector. He joins Vormetric from HP where he was VP, Worldwide Sales and Service for Enterprise Security Products responsible for the success of customers and partners on a global basis.

“Vormetric is firmly established as the enterprise encryption leader, just as the market for data security is taking off. The company has a great team in place and significant opportunities for growth in both our domestic market as well as new untapped geographies,” said Alan Kessler. “It’s a great time to join Vormetric. My goal is to grow the company into a front runner within the data security segment. We will address new high growth use cases including the cloud and big data, expand our share of the federal government space and target key international markets.”

According to findings presented by Gartner, Inc. at the recent Symposium/ITxpoSecurity conference the already large security market is expected to grow by 56% from current levels within five years, while cloud security will almost triple. Vormetric provides strong, easily manageable data security for large organizations in the financial services, government, healthcare and energy sectors including Honeywell, LG, Michelin, Nicor, Prudential, and more. To date, 16 of the Fortune 25 companies have standardized on Vormetric for their data encryption and key management needs.

“Our objective was to recruit a CEO who has leadership experience in the security, enterprise software and storage systems markets, as well as a person with a track record for building and managing global businesses,” said Bob Spinnner, Vormetric Board Member and Managing Director at Sigma Partners. “Alan Kessler meets and exceeds all those criteria. We are extremely pleased that he is onboard and know Alan has the acumen to grow Vormetric in both domestic and international markets.”

Mr. Kessler has more than 20 years of management experience with both entrepreneurial startups and very large technology vendors. Most recently with HP, he set and executed the go-to-market strategy for the full portfolio of products, solutions and associated security services from the Enterprise Security Products business unit. He was responsible for leading the teams that took the award-winning HP ArcSight, HP TippingPoint, HP Fortify, HP Application Security Center and HP Atalla security products to market.

He also served as president of intrusion prevention vendor TippingPoint (a division of 3Com) until it was folded into HP as part of the 3Com acquisition. He led the TippingPoint business through a stage of unprecedented market growth steadily increasing market share at a rate of four times the industry average. Previously, Mr. Kessler was president and CEO of Attune Systems, an enterprise storage systems company. He has also served as the president of Palm Inc. and as president of Palm’s Platform and Products group during Palm’s successful IPO.

Mr. Kessler holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley – Walter A. Haas School of Business, and a B.S. in Business from San Jose State University.

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