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Forcepoint 'Repositions' Some Employees, Head Of Sales Departs

Forcepoint has seen a significant reorganization, which sources say include layoffs, as the security vendor looks to reposition its sales force and portfolio around high-growth technology areas.

Forcepoint has undergone a significant reorganization designed to reposition the company's sales force and its portfolio around high-growth technology areas, including web security, DLP and insider threat prevention, sources told CRN.

Sources close to the Austin, Texas-based company said the reorganization included layoffs over the past month, particularly around the company's regional sales teams as it moves to a model more focused on inside sales reps based in Texas.

Forcepoint reported having around 2,300 employees in January 2016.

[Related: Raytheon|Websense Integrates Security Brands Into Single Platform, Relaunches Company As Forcepoint]

John Giacomini, executive vice president of sales, has also left the company, according to sources. Giacomini had joined Forcepoint as part of its merger with Websense, where he was senior vice president of the Americas. Giacomini confirmed his departure in an email to CRN, but declined to comment on the circumstances.

Forcepoint Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Vice President of Marketing Dave Howell confirmed that the company is repositioning the business with some "fairly significant changes" around key technology areas, which he confirmed include web security, insider threat prevention and DLP, among other areas. However, he said those changes did not include layoffs, only "repositioning."

"We are working to refocus the business," Howell said. "That drove some organizational changes." Howell also confirmed the departure of Giacomini.

The changes come as Forcepoint looks to establish its foothold in the security market after forming from the merger of multiple security acquisitions over the past two years. The company includes the joint venture of Raytheon Cyber Products (RCP) and Websense, and acquisition of the McAfee Next-Generation Firewall and McAfee Firewall Enterprise businesses from Intel Security (also known as Stonesoft and Sidewinder, respectively). The company was relaunched in January 2016 as Forcepoint, with a strategy to build a unified security platform.

Over the past year, the company has continued to build out its executive roster and integrate its portfolio, announcing the appointment of Matthew Moynahan as CEO, Kristin Machacek Leary as vice president and chief human resources officer, Timothy McDonough as CMO, and Meerah Rajavel as CIO. The company also said last fall it had successfully integrated the McAfee next-generation firewall technology into its portfolio.

Partners CRN spoke with about the readjustments said they were optimistic about what it meant for Forcepoint's future. One partner executive, who did not want to be named, said Forcepoint's portfolio remains relevant in today's security market, but the company is not yet growing at the pace of some of its competitors. He said the repositioning could help Forcepoint focus on its most relevant technologies and accelerate growth.


"I don’t think it’s a bad thing," the executive said. "I think they needed to do some realignment and get rid of some people." The executive said the changes will also serve to further move the company away from challenges at Websense, where support and technical issues were a "black eye in the space that was difficult for them to overcome."

However, partners did worry the push to an inside sales team model could hurt the company's relationship with partners, as inside sales representatives tend to have less connection with outside partners.

"I'm just not a big fan of giving more to an inside sales team. I don’t think that's good model for the channel," one partner executive said.

Another partner executive said his company's business with Forcepoint is just starting to grow, up more than double so far this year, but it is still a proportionately small amount of the company's overall security portfolio. The company honing its focus on growth markets and looking to reposition its sales force are positive moves, said the executive, who did not want to be identified.

"It's only upside," the executive said.

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