One Year Of Kevin Mandia: Partners Say FireEye Is Evolving Under New CEO, But Still Has Work To Do


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When Kevin Mandia became CEO of FireEye one year ago, the company was in bad shape.

After jumping to the top of the market with its pioneering sandboxing technology, FireEye was struggling. The company faced  increased competition, a faltering channel strategy and a high price point for its offerings.

With those headwinds, Mandia took the reins from then CEO Dave DeWalt.

Mandia had joined FireEye in 2014 after the then security high flyer acquired the company he founded Mandiant Corporation. In a decade as CEO, Mandia  had built Mandiant into a  $100 million security services powerhouse.

[Related: Q&A: FireEye CEO Mandia On His One-Year Anniversary, Partner Milestones And Work That's Left To Do]

FireEye's stock was down a whopping 60 percent year over year to $16.05 when Mandia officially took the helm on June 15, 2016.  Today – one year to the day that he began his tenure as the new CEO - FireEye's shares closed down for the day 18 cents to $14.99.

At the time of his appointment, Mandia said he wanted to usher in the "next generation" of FireEye, with a roadmap for innovation and partnerships to take the company beyond its on-premise sandbox appliance roots to what he  called a "hybrid everywhere security company."

"We are on that journey and that started Day 1 for me," Mandia said in a recent interview with CRN. "The minute I got to the helm, it was about innovating out of the sandbox into a real security company."

That evolution took place in two parts. On the innovation front, Mandia championed a vision at FireEye that included separating data analysis from the appliance itself – a process it called MVX separation –, endpoint security, and an integrated platform approach that the company now calls Helix.

FireEye also needed to repair its broken relationship with the channel, which stemmed from confusion around services competition from the Mandiant acquisition. Partners at the time complained about an unclear delineation between solution provider and direct sales.

Mandia responded quickly hiring a new head of worldwide sales – Bill Robbins- who made changes to how FireEye works with partners, including creating clear swim lanes, a new pricing structure, and plans for channel-ready products.

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