Enrique Salem: Mobility, Cloud Ushering In A Changing Of The Guard


Salem served as Symantec’s COO from January 2008 to April 2009, when he was appointed to replace Symantec CEO John Thompson , who retired after 10 years at the helm of the company. Salem was responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations, global product development, sales and marketing while working under Thompson. His other roles at Symantec included senior vice president of the security products and solutions group, group president of the consumer business unit and group president of worldwide sales and marketing.

Steve Bennett replaced Salem as president and CEO in July 2012, and Bennett is now overseeing a massive internal overhaul, which includes a streamlining of the product portfolio, layoffs of redundant positions and a revamped channel strategy. The company is continuing to integrate its portfolio to address cloud and mobility issues.

For Salem, whose roots are at the endpoint, the shift to networking security and the cloud is a big change. There always will be a place for endpoint security, he said, but it will be limited as tablet and smartphone use combined with adoption of cloud-based services has shifted the focus. Networking security companies, however, understand the endpoint is still an important space, as evidenced by. FireEye acquiring Mandiant for $1 billion to add remediation and forensics across the network and on devices, Salem said.

"There will be fine companies built around the endpoint because you still need to manage, protect and remediate the endpoint and the devices there, but look at the dollars spent and the growth there will be limited," Salem said.

Salem was appointed to the board of directors of Netskope in October and said the cloud analytics company is in a growing market, as new technologies are giving enterprises increased visibility into cloud-based services. Netskope began with analytics to drill down into application usage, has built out data loss prevention and policy enforcement and will add other threat detection technologies. Netskope joins a crowded market for cloud security brokers, one that includes SkyHigh Networks, CipherCloud, and startups Adallom and Skyfence.

Many of these vendors, including Netskope, are relying on the channel as a growth engine. Netskope recently added a channel manager, has partnered with FishNet Security and other regional solution providers, and is building out support for partners, Salem said.

"Clearly, the channel is important and I would tell you that cloud-based companies that really embrace and understand the channel will have staying power," Salem said.

PUBLISHED JAN. 28, 2014