Versa Networks Names Dan Maier CMO As Pre-IPO Company Grows Marketing Team
The SASE specialist is building out its marketing muscle as it prepares for an IPO by bringing on marketing veteran Dan Maier as CMO and two other tech heavyweights: Gopal Bhagia as its new vice president of demand generation and Kevin Sheu as vice president of product marketing.
SD-WAN-turned-SASE specialist Versa Networks has expanded its marketing team as the company gears up to move into its next phase, which includes future IPO plans, the company told CRN.
The company has brought on Dan Maier, a tech marketing executive with more than two decades of experience, to fill the role of CMO, Versa said Wednesday. Maier replaces Michael Wood, Versa’s CMO since 2020, who left the company in September.
Versa also added Gopal Bhagia, former senior director of global demand generation at Tenable, as its new vice president of demand generation and Kevin Sheu, former Bitglass marketing leader, as its new vice president of product marketing to round out the marketing team.
[Related: 10 SASE Companies Making Moves: Q1 2023 ]
Maier in his new role will lead Versa’s global marketing organization, including market strategy and positioning, branding, public relations, demand generation, digital marketing, product marketing, and channel and partner marketing.
Maier was looking for a company that was in “a great market, had great products and kind of an unfair advantage in the market,” he told CRN. “The SASE [Secure Access Service Edge] market is boiling up because it really solves a hard problem in the industry, and I think Versa is probably better positioned than almost anybody else to really solve that problem at scale,” he said.
Versa, ahead of its future IPO, is investing in getting the word out to customers and channel partners about its integrated security and SD-WAN platform that doesn’t require partners or customers to “bolt on” or cobble a solution together, Maier said. “We’re building up a marketing team with some seniority and some security chops to really drive that,” he added.
The stand-alone SASE company, which unlike many of its competitors has avoided acquisition, was listed as a Leader in the most recent Magic Quadrant For SD-WAN.
Versa’s strong products need to be accompanied by a strong go-to-market push, Maier said.
“As a pre-IPO company, we need to really put a foundation in place that lets us drive predictable revenues and support our partners and our sales team with what they need to drive significant growth and take advantage of the great opportunity that great products provide,” he said.
Maier, a tech veteran of more than 20 years, has experience in executive leadership roles at cybersecurity, SaaS and AI companies and has led marketing teams at seed-stage startups to large, public companies, including GreyNoise Intelligence, Anomali, Zingbox, Cyren, Zscaler and Tumbleweed Communications. Prior to his latest appointment, Maier served as vice president of marketing for network security startup GreyNoise Intelligence.
Prior to his new appointment with Versa, Bhagia served as senior director for global demand generation for Tenable Networks. Sheu, for his part, previously held product marketing and marketing leadership roles at Bitglass, Vectra AI, Okta, FireEye and Barracuda. He comes to Versa from Incode Technologies where he served as senior vice president of marketing.
Versa in October said that it has raised $120 million ahead of its planned IPO. Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks, told CRN that the funding helped to further the 100 percent channel-focused company’s go-to-market strategies and accelerate its SASE product development road map to cement its leadership position in the SASE market.