Another Former McAfee Exec Leaves Intel Security, This Time For ForeScout

Former Intel Security president Michael DeCesare has joined ForeScout as CEO, making him the third former McAfee executive to depart Intel Security since December.

Campbell, Calif.-based ForeScout said DeCesare will be tasked with growing the company's information security presence when he takes over as CEO March 2. DeCesare replaces T. Kent Elliott, who led the company from 2003 to 2009, and again on an interim basis since July 2014.

"The explosion of mobile devices, cloud and wireless access has thrown a giant spotlight on securing the network," DeCesare said in a statement. "I've admired ForeScout's technology as second to none, and there is no question that in the age of big breaches, ForeScout is poised to become a significant player."

[RELATED: Blue Coat Hires Two Former Intel Security Veterans To Bolster Sales Strategy]

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The last permanent CEO of ForeScout was Gord Boyce, who took the reins in 2010 and quietly stepped down in July. Press reports in December 2013 indicated that the network security and risk management vendor was planning an IPO to raise $100 million, but no formal announcements have been made since.

"ForeScout has enjoyed great success, but we've only just begun," Hezy Yeshurun, ForeScout co-founder and chairman, said in a statement. "As we embark on our next growth phase, Michael DeCesare is the visionary we wanted to help ForeScout capitalize on the opportunities ahead."

DeCesare's departure continues the executive musical chairs at Intel Security, which brought on two former Cisco executives in September, and has seen three leaders who came over from McAfee leave in the past three months.

The acquisition of McAfee by Intel for $7.6 billion was announced in August 2010 and was completed in February 2011, but the company primarily operated autonomously until January 2014, when Intel said it was scrapping the McAfee name and rebranding all product under the Intel Security banner.

In September 2014, Intel Security brought in Chris Young, who was senior vice president of Cisco's Security Business Group, and tasked him with combining Intel's hardware and software teams, and McAfee's security engineering team into a single organization.

DeCesare, who joined McAfee in 2007 and has served as the company's president since July 2011, was told he'd be reporting directly to Young, along with Rick Echevarria, who had been overseeing security on the Intel side of the business.

McAfee posted multiple quarters of double-digit revenue growth under DeCesare's guidance, according to ForeScout.

In a series of comings and goings:

-- Scott Lovett came over with Young from Cisco to serve as Intel Security's executive vice president of worldwide sales.

-- Three months after that, Intel Security Chief Technology Officer Michael Fey announced he was leaving the company to become the president and chief operating officer of Blue Coat Systems. Fey had been an executive with McAfee since July 2007, and had held the CTO position at McAfee prior to the rebranding.

-- Steve Tchejeyan, a senior vice president overseeing Intel Security's billion-dollar U.S. business, joined Fey at Blue Coat in January as its senior vice president for Americas, Sales and Field Operations. Tchejeyan had been an executive at McAfee since January 2008.

-- Fey and Tchejeyan were joined at Blue Coat by Kurt Mills, a McAfee vice president between July 2008 and September 2009, responsible for reshaping their channel program.

An Intel spokesman said DeCesare had been supporting Young's onboarding since September, adding that DeCesare's departure was brought about, in part, by Young feeling like he had his feet under him.

"Mike [DeCesare's] departure was completely amicable," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said that partners coming over from McAfee shouldn't be concerned about Fey, Tchejeyan and DeCesare leaving the company because the new Intel Security executive team will be capable of supporting the business going forward.

"We have a very strong team, strong leadership," the spokesman said.

Next: McAfee Partner Reacts To DeCesare's Departure

Mark Wiener, president of Raleigh, N.C.-based McAfee partner CloudAny, said he isn't too concerned about DeCesare's departure since he doesn't believe any one person was responsible for the success of McAfee's product.

"I think some of this is the natural shaking out, where Intel is taking a more active role in what McAfee is doing," Wiener said.

Wiener, who has worked with McAfee since it acquired MX Logic in 2009, spoke with DeCesare a couple of times about product reform, and was impressed by his responsiveness and interest in making things easier for partners.

Still, Wiener said he has seen more improvements in the roughly five months since Young came on board than in the three years prior.

Wiener was particularly pleased that Intel Security put in more controls and tools for downstream partner management rights and, in March, will allow partners to set up nonstandard defaults for clients.

"In a large company, it's hard to make changes on a dime," Wiener said.

Prior to joining McAfee as executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations in 2007, DeCesare spent three years as EMC's senior vice president of worldwide field operations; two years as Documentum's senior vice president of worldwide field operations; and four years as Oracle's vice president of field sales.

"Michael DeCesare is a security industry trailblazer and the type of leader that will further drive ForeScout's success," Enrique Salem, a former Symantec CEO and current ForeScout board member, said in a statement.

DeCesare will be able to lean on Elliott, the former ForeScout CEO, for strategic insight and counsel. Elliott will remain with the company as a nonemployee member of ForeScout's board of directors.

ForeScout was founded in 2000 and has more than 1,800 enterprise and military customers across 62 countries. It has been named a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for network access control (NAC) for each of the past four years.

The vendor's signature product is CounterACT, which helps businesses prevent and respond to cyberthreats by providing realtime network visibility into users, devices, endpoints and applications. The offering allows solution providers to better understand their clients' security environment and automate remediation actions.

ForeScout added realtime threat detection and containment capabilities to CounterACT in April 2013 with a new connector for users of the FireEye antimalware platform.

The company said the integration would provide more visibility into targeted attacks and zero-day threats, which often use custom malware to evade detection from traditional security software.