Kevin Mandia Stepping Down As CEO At Google-Owned Mandiant

Mandia told Mandiant employees he will remain as an advisor at the esteemed cyber incident response and threat intelligence firm that he founded in 2004.

With Mandiant now well along in its integration into Google Cloud, founder Kevin Mandia plans to step down at the end of the month but will remain involved as an advisor, the company confirmed.

Google completed its $5.4 billion acquisition of Mandiant, a highly regarded cyber incident response and threat intelligence firm, in September 2022.

[Related: Mandiant CEO On Biggest AI, Security And Google Investments]

Mandia, who founded the company in 2004, disclosed the plans in a letter to Mandiant employees, noting that the reins will now be passed to Executive Vice President Sandra Joyce and Vice President Jurgen Kutscher. The impending move was first reported on X by Joseph Menn of The Washington Post.

“With the progress we’ve made on the integration, and tremendous leadership from Sandra Joyce and Jurgen Kutscher, I will transition to an advisory role, effective May 31,” Mandia wrote in the letter to employees, which the company shared with CRN Tuesday.

In a recent interview, a Google Cloud executive told CRN that the respective threat intelligence teams at Google and Mandiant have been fully integrated, enabling the launch of the new Google Threat Intelligence offering earlier this month.

Mandia — a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, whose roles included serving as a special agent in the Office of Special Investigations — launched Red Cliff Consulting in 2004, later renamed Mandiant. The company became a trailblazer in the critical area of incident response, and it went on to be acquired by FireEye in 2014.

Mandiant found itself independent once again in 2021, after it was separated with the acquisition of FireEye’s products business by Symphony Technology Group. Less than a year later, Google announced a deal to snap up Mandiant, a move that has gone on to help power Google Cloud’s expanding suite of security operations tools.

In the letter to employees, Mandia said he is “very proud of the team for all we have accomplished” over two decades.

“The word ‘Mandiant’ is now associated with the top-tier of security advisory services and incident response. It took extreme dedication to build such a strong brand, and our customers remain a strong testament to our capability and importance,” Mandia wrote in the letter.

The Google acquisition “was a significant milestone for Mandiant,” he added. “It gave us an opportunity to extend our impact even further. I have always believed that Google would be the right place for Mandiant, and the journey we have been on over the past two years has proven that.”

In his forthcoming advisory role with Google Cloud, Mandia wrote that he will “continue to sit on the board of Google Public Sector and advise [CEO] Thomas [Kurian] and his leadership team on a variety of cybersecurity projects.”

Ultimately, “what Mandiant does is more important than ever and I am confident that we will continue to move the mission forward - preventing and countering cyber attacks - and hopefully imposing greater risk to the criminals who hide behind anonymity and safe harbors,” Mandia told employees in the letter.

Mandia is also a strategic partner at cybersecurity-focused venture firm Ballistic Ventures, which he co-founded in 2021.