FireEye CEO: Watch Out, Competition, We're Coming Back Fighting

FireEye has been humbled in recent months: The competition has woken up, and Wall Street analysts have started to express their skepticism -- the stock price dropped 35 percent in 2015.

But CEO Dave DeWalt said FireEye is gearing up to fight back -- big time.

"We're fighters, and we're winners, and we're going to fight back," DeWalt said in a keynote address at the company's Momentum 2016 sales kickoff event in Las Vegas. "I think we have the ability to defeat every competitor as we move forward. … We will be fighting back."

[Related: FireEye Updates Partner Program, Names New North America Channel Chief]

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That fighter mentality won't just be aimed at the competition, he said, but also the cyberattackers, who DeWalt acknowledged are getting much more sophisticated.

To do that, FireEye needs to continue evolving its business model to meet the market, with a focus on services and as-a-service delivery models, the cloud and intelligence, CFO Mike Berry said. To execute on that, Berry said, FireEye will focus its investments on building its intelligence-led security platform, cloud infrastructure, demand generation and targeted sales capacity.

Those investments will help drive profitability and positive cash flow for FireEye, he said, and push it toward its goal of $1 billion in revenue. FireEye hasn't yet shared its earnings for Q4, but said earlier that it expects total fourth quarter revenue to be between $184 million and $185 million, and billings to amount to between $256 million and $257 million.

Some of those investments have already started to take shape. At the event this week, FireEye said it is segmenting its product line into a Power product set aimed at enterprise clients and an Essentials line aimed at the midmarket. The company also rolled out enhancements to its partner program and trumpeted the acquisition of security orchestration company Invotas. FireEye also recently acquired threat intelligence specialist iSight Partners.

Partners at the event said they are thrilled with the investments FireEye is making.

"There's a plan to grow, and that's a good thing," said John Marler, chief operating officer at Houston-based Set Solutions, a longtime FireEye partner.

Allen Lerner, federal account manager at ClearShark, agreed, saying that the new technology and channel investments help reaffirm the Hanover, Md.-based partner's investment in the vendor.

"It's been awesome," Lerner said. "They're doing a really good job of staying ahead of the competition on the channel front and the technology front. They're not phoning it in -- they're really doing a great job."

For that reason, Lerner said, ClearShark has invested heavily in FireEye, with 10 dedicated representatives -- plus Lerner himself spending 60 percent to 70 percent of his time -- working with customers on FireEye solutions.

"I'm interested to see what they do next," Lerner said. "It's been a really cool ride."

While 2015 was a "difficult year" in many aspects for FireEye, CEO DeWalt said, he is confident that 2016 will be a "great" and "unbelievable" year for the security vendor.

"I think we're just getting started. I really do," DeWalt said. "I think 2016 will be an amazing year for the company."