FireMon Continues Executive Shuffle With New President, COO

In its third top-level executive change of the year, FireMon has named a new president and chief operating officer, the network security intelligence company said Wednesday.

James Lewandowski joins the Overland Park, Kan.-based company from FireHost, a secure cloud and managed hosting company, where he was CEO. He has also held executive positions at Rackspace, McAfee, Yahoo, BMC Software and IBM.

In an interview with CRN, Lewandowski said he chose to join FireMon because he sees it solving a problem in the network security marketplace with a solution to abstract and automate policy management. As he comes on board, Lewandowski said he hopes he can leverage his 30 years of channel and market expertise to deepen FireMon's market penetration.

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"My specialty in my career is working on different distribution models. I've got a very good understanding of many different models, so I plan to bring that expertise to FireMon and to really help us sharpen up our channel strategy. What I would hope would happen in the near future is that every firewall that is sold should have FireMon attached to it," Lewandowski said.

Lewandowski's appointment comes about a month and a half after FireMon added former Accuvant/Fishnet executives Brandy Peterson and John Van Blaricum to its lineup as chief technology officer and vice president of marketing, respectively. When asked about the shuffling and what it signaled for the company, Lewandowski said he views it as the natural effect of a company trying to double the $40 million to $50 million in revenue it does today.

"To build a business that is going to go to $100 million and then to $500 million, you just have to build a broader, more experienced bench than when you started the company at a smaller size. What you're seeing is a very normal progression for a company that is growing very rapidly in a hot market," Lewandowski said.

As he settles in with the company, Lewandowski said, he plans to drive improvements to the product so that it is easier to be sold and installed by partners. A "major step" toward that goal will be accomplished in the company's upcoming 8.0 release, he said.

Lewandowski said the company is also looking to broaden its partnerships with other vendors as well as with more reseller and managed security services partners. Internally, he said, the company is expanding, adding new employees and an office in Dallas, and looking to make more acquisitions similar to the Immediate Insight buy in April.

All of those changes under the new leadership mean a big opportunity for partners, Lewandowski said.

"The opportunity for partners of ours or other distributors to be able to sell this kind of product to their customers is something that is a very rich field for them to mine," Lewandowski said. "We're anxious to work with partners in order to deliver this to their customers as well. To me, that is the main message out of all of this. There's a huge demand in the market."