Blue Coat Hires Two Former Intel Security Veterans To Bolster Sales Strategy

Blue Coat Systems hired two former Intel Security channel executives to bolster its sales strategy. The Sunnyvale Calif.-based company named Kurt Mills its vice president for Americas, Sales and Field Operations, and Steve Tchejeyan, senior vice president for Americas, Sales and Field Operations.

The two executives join Michael Fey, a former senior executive at Intel Security (formerly McAfee) who Blue Coat named to spearhead its security product integration and acquisition strategy. Fey was chief technology officer at Intel Security and is credited with overseeing product engineering to create interoperability between the company's broad endpoint, data and network security portfolio.

Related: Top 10 Security Vendors To Watch In 2015]

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquired Blue Coat Systems in a $1.3 billion deal in 2012 and The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said the private equity firm is now considering selling Blue Coat. Since it acquired the Web security gateway maker, the company acquired network security vendor Crossbeam Systems for network security customization and big data center deployments; Netronome, adding network flow and SSL inspection capabilities; and Solera Networks for network packet capture and security analytics. The company also added virtual file analysis sandbox maker Norman Shark. Thoma Bravo also recently acquired Riverbed Technology in a $3.6 billion deal. A sale of Blue Coat could fetch as much as $2.5 billion, according to reports.

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Blue Coat partners say the company has all the pieces to build out an integrated network security platform. The only missing pieces are endpoint and data security capabilities, said David Ladley, president and CEO of Park Ridge, Ill.-based systems integrator and longtime Blue Coat partner Communications Finance. Blue Coat’s proxy is second to none, and combined with its Web filtering capabilities, the offering works very well, Ladley said.

’They are trying to bring in antimalware boxes, too, and there’s a lot of momentum behind what they are doing,’ Ladley said.

In an interview with CRN, Blue Coat’s Mills said his role will be to support refining and modernizing the channel infrastructure already in place and further build out the company’s global distribution network. Mills was at Secure Computing, which was acquired by McAfee in 2008, and said he helped reshape McAfee’s channel program during that vendor’s acquisition spree.

’To be a billion-dollar company, you need to be focused on alignment and execution,’ said Mills, who has spent more than 25 years in channel sales, holding a management position at Websense in addition to Intel Security.

Mills was at Blue Coat during its early days in the mid-1990s when it was called CacheFlow and based in Redmond, Wash. He helped the company grow over five years from a $50 million business to a $500 million business. Today Blue Coat has more than 400 partners and runs separate programs for wireless and global system integrators.

’I’ve always kept my eyes on Blue Coat,’ Mills said. ’I saw the acquisitions and new technologies coming in and the opportunity piqued my interest. I’m excited to come back and work with a couple of former colleagues.’

Mills reports to Marc Andrews, Blue Coat senior vice president of worldwide field operations, and is responsible for field and channel partner-facing business operations and collaborating on strategy. He was most recently vice president of channel sales at Aerohive Networks.

Tchejeyan is focused on the markets and customer segments that represent the largest market-share growth. He will manage Blue Coat's North American and Latin America sales and field operation teams. Tchejeyan was with McAfee, where he was responsible for the general management of a more than billion-dollar business, including the company's consumer, commercial, enterprise and public sector clients in the U.S.

Blue Coat's Crossbeam unit, meanwhile, is designed for large data center deployments. Crossbeam partners with Check Point Software Technologies, Cisco Systems, Imperva, Intel Security, Websense and others. Research firms see Blue Coat as the market leader in secure Web gateway appliances, competing against Cisco, Barracuda Networks, Intel Security and Websense. The company introduced a malware detection appliance using its Solera Networks acquisition. The appliance competes directly for enterprise deals with RSA’s NetWitness security analytics platform.