FireEye CEO Dave DeWalt To Step Down, Kevin Mandia To Take Top Leadership Role

After four years at the helm of FireEye, Dave DeWalt said he plans to step down from his role as CEO of the Milpitas, Calif.-based security company, taking a position as executive chairman.

DeWalt will be replaced by Kevin Mandia, who joined the company with its blockbuster acquisition of Mandiant in 2014 and serves as president. Mandiant President Travis Reese will step into Mandia's former role as president of FireEye and CFO Mike Barry will assume the responsibilities of chief operating officer.

The transitions will take effect June 15, the company said.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: FireEye CEO On New Products, Acquisitions And Why FireEye Will Be More Competitive Than Ever In 2016]

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DeWalt told CRN the leadership changes will allow FireEye to take a "fresh look at things" and continue accelerating its security strategy. He said he plans to stay very involved with the company's sales and strategy going forward as executive chairman.

"It gives us the opportunity to really strengthen the leadership for years to come with this change," DeWalt said in an interview with CRN. "It really sets up FireEye for the next generation of the company."

As CEO, Mandia told CRN, he will focus on developing the FireEye platform, continuing to innovate and pushing toward profitability. A large part of that focus will be continuing the vision put in place by DeWalt, he said, while also positioning FireEye to keep pace with the fast-changing security market.

"We're always evolving. … We're going to continue the processes in place and do what we need to do," Mandia said. "We may be changing the driver on the bus, but the bus is headed the same way," he said.

One example of that platform evolution is the company's Thursday launch of FireEye Security Orchestrator, Mandia said, which adds orchestration and automation capabilities. The new capabilities are from the company's recent Invotas acquisition.

The leadership transition could allow FireEye to put an increased focus on technology development, where they said Mandia has a strong reputation, compared to DeWalt's sales expertise, a partner said.

"It ought to be interesting to see how that focus changes FireEye's strategy," said one partner executive who did not want to be named.

Partners will be a key part of that strategy going forward, DeWalt said. FireEye's acquisition of Mandiant, where Mandia was founder and CEO, caused significant conflict with partners, who saw the company's service offerings as competing with theirs. DeWalt said the company's channel strategy will continue accelerating under Mandia as CEO.

"We’re continuing the journey we're on and partners are a big part of that. … Ultimately partners are the start and end of what we do," DeWalt said.