Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman Steps Down, Acting CEO Named

The cybersecurity vendor didn’t disclose a reason for Hagerman’s departure, which is “effective immediately,” with Sophos President Joe Levy taking the role of acting CEO.

Sophos announced Thursday that Kris Hagerman has stepped down as CEO of the cybersecurity giant after more than a decade, and a top executive has been named as acting CEO.

The vendor didn’t disclose a reason for Hagerman’s departure, which is “effective immediately,” with Sophos President Joe Levy named as acting CEO in addition to his current duties.

Hagerman will remain as an advisor to Sophos through April 1, the company said.

CRN has reached out to Sophos for any further details on Hagerman’s departure.

A former Symantec executive, Hagerman became CEO of Sophos in late 2012 and led the company through its 2015 initial public offering in London and a tripling of its revenue, ultimately surpassing $1 billion, Sophos said in a news release. He also oversaw the take-private sale of the company to private equity investor Thoma Bravo for $3.9 billion in 2020.

In the release, Hagerman is quoted as saying he is “excited to pass the baton to Joe Levy as President and acting CEO to lead Sophos into the future.” Levy “has my full and enthusiastic support,” Hagerman said.

Hagerman added that he is “proud” to have led the team that has “transformed Sophos into a true next-generation cybersecurity leader.”

In an interview with CRN last year, Hagerman said he was focused on making sure that Sophos is at the forefront of enabling the shift to cybersecurity delivered via a service model—or “security as a service.”

Sophos has begun its shift in this direction by emphasizing its managed detection and response (MDR) service, which has excelled even in the highly competitive market, he told CRN.

“I think in many respects, we’re already at the front of that [MDR] wave,” Hagerman said. “We have more MDR customers than any other vendor that we’re aware of.”

Levy has spent more than two decades in the cybersecurity industry, including previously as CTO at SonicWall and Blue Coat Systems before joining Sophos in 2015.

In April 2023, Levy was promoted to serve as president of the Sophos Technology Group, a title which he has held in addition to being the company’s CTO and chief product officer.

In the release Thursday, Sophos said that Levy has spearheaded “the transformation of Sophos from a product-only vendor into the global cybersecurity as a service company it is today.”

Levy said in the release that Sophos has massive opportunities ahead in the realm of helping to secure “neglected” midmarket and small businesses.

“Our immediate goal is to work with our partners to further expand our collective ability to secure organizations that are unprotected or need stronger cyber defenses,” he said in the release.

In an interview a year ago, Levy said that the surge in demand for MDR — coming amid a massive global shortage of cybersecurity talent — is helping to prove the company’s thesis that services are the future of security. Ultimately, “I believe that services are going to become the primary consumption model of cybersecurity in the industry over time,” he told CRN.