Accuvant And FishNet Security Create CIO Position To Facilitate Technical Integration

As Accuvant and FishNet Security continue their integration into $1.5 billion Optiv Security, the companies have created a chief information officer position and hired industry veteran Anthony Crutcher to lead the technical integration charge.

The integration process began when Accuvant and FishNet Security announced their merger last November, a move that was finalized in February. Just last month, the companies announced at the 2015 RSA Conference that the combined company would be called Optiv Security.

As the integration continues, President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Williams said in a statement that Crutcher's appointment is "another important milestone in the successful integration."

[Related: Accuvant-FishNet CMO Dishes On Hiring Spree, Global Expansion And The Future Of Optiv Security]

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’Anthony’s proven expertise makes him the ideal person to lead our enterprise-wide information technology initiatives. I am confident that he will help us deliver significant value to all of our stakeholders -- clients, employees, partners and shareholders -- through innovation, technology-focused solutions and pragmatic delivery. I look forward to working with him," Williams said in the statement.

Crutcher brings more than 23 years of IT industry experience to the new CIO role, most recently from Sitel, a Nashville, Tenn.-based business process outsourcing company, where he was senior vice president and chief technology officer. He has also held positions at Etelcare Global Solutions (now Stream Global Services), Ernst & Young, Comcast Corp., Qwest Communications (now Century Link) and MCI Communications (now Verizon).

The CIO role is a new one for the two companies, reporting directly to Williams. Crutcher's first priority will be overseeing the technology integrations of the two companies over the next roughly three months. While he has only just started the job, Crutcher said, he is has already "jumped into the pool, two feet first," meeting the vast majority of the IT staff and learning the challenges he faces before the anticipated July integration date.

Beyond the integration itself, Crutcher said, he sees a huge opportunity for the company to use the integration as an impetus to upgrade systems to increase productivity and efficiencies across the organization, as the systems currently in place are more manual or not as robust as they could be. In particular, Crutcher said, he sees a lot of opportunity around enhancing the mobile experience for the company's largely remote and mobile workforce as well as to increase the speed at which information is shared across the organization to meet clients' needs.

"The immediate piece is definitely the integration, but I think along with that, we want to take a look at how we can leverage the technology and the partners that we have ... to just enhance the employee experience here," Crutcher said. "I think it's already tight when I think about the time frames the company has to cut over with the system integration, but there's enough time to give it a glance over to make sure we've planned this correctly, we've asked the right questions and we want to make sure we don’t lose any data," he continued.

As he meets more people in the organization, Crutcher said, the integration is driving a real excitement among employees. That excitement at the company, combined with a fast-moving security industry, is what drew Crutcher to the company, he said.

"This is a very exciting time ... I can tell you that the energy, the thought process in terms of people being on the same page and the adaptability of people hungry for this type of change, [is driving a] kind of momentum. I think people have seen the promise in the company and where it can go. ... Because of that, they're anxious to see this thing grow further. ... That appetite for this type of change and this kind of transition -- it has been very promising for me," Crutcher said.