Proofpoint Poaches Fortinet Marketing Head Luanne Tierney

Fortinet Vice President of Marketing Luanne Tierney is leaving the company for rival security vendor Proofpoint, CRN has learned.

Tierney confirmed her departure with CRN, saying that she has officially resigned from the network security vendor. Starting June 15, Tierney will be senior vice president of marketing at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Proofpoint.

Fortinet confirmed the departure in an email and is expected to officially announce it today. Proofpoint did not respond to comment. Tierney said no replacement has been chosen for her position.

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In her new role, Tierney will report to Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele, responsible for running all global marketing for the company.

"It’s a great company. I love the security space, its software -- they're really well-positioned. They’ve got great products, great leadership and a great sales team," Tierney said in an interview with CRN. "It's a great opportunity."

In particular, Tierney said she looks forward to driving more significant investments by the vendor into marketing. That is part of a bigger strategy by the company to invest in its sales and channel partners, she said.

"That’s really fun to create an even bigger impact for the company through aligning sales and marketing," Tierney said.

Tierney hasn't been at Fortinet for long. She joined the company in August of last year to spearhead the company's corporate communications strategy. She had left Juniper Networks in April of last year to co-author a book on best practices and strategies for women entering the workplace. Prior to that, she headed up channel marketing efforts at Cisco.

"I know I haven’t been at Fortinet for a long time. I had a great experience. I really loved the sales team and the product," Tierney said.

Jeff Robbins, practice director for security and wireless at Ridgeland, Miss.-based Business Communications, said he expects Tierney's departure will have some effects on the company's marketing efforts with the channel. As Fortinet ultimately chooses her replacement, Robbins said he believes the company will be able to rebound its marketing efforts.

"From a marketing side, I'm not too worried. Their product stands on their own," Robbins said.