Intel Security Hires Former FireEye Exec Michael Berry As Its New CFO

As Intel Security readies to become a standalone security vendor, it has named former FireEye CFO Michael Berry as its new chief financial officer, the company announced Monday.

Berry announced last week on FireEye's fourth quarter earnings call that he was leaving the company to pursue a new opportunity. He has been replaced at FireEye by Frank Verdecanna, senior vice president of finance and chief accounting officer.

Intel Security Senior Vice President and General Manager Chris Young announced the appointment in a blog post, highlighting Berry's financial experience at FireEye and other technology vendors, including Informatica, IO, SolarWinds and i2 Technologies. Young said he would be a "great addition to Intel Security."

[Related: FireEye's Executive Chairman And Former CEO, Dave DeWalt, Has Resigned]

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"[Berry] understands the complexity and challenges of our industry, and he believes in the unique perspective we bring to the market. Namely, that it will take all of us, working together in an open, integrated architecture, to ensure a more secure world," Young said in the blog post.

Berry joined FireEye in September 2015. Since that time, he has been a key player in the company's push to cut costs and align the business for profitability, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia said on the earnings call last week.

"Mike has been instrumental in helping us align our cost structure and placing FireEye firmly on the path to profitability. I enjoyed working side-by-side with Mike and we thank him for his hard work and his contributions, and all of us at FireEye wish him well in the future," Mandia said. FireEye declined requests for further comment from CRN on Berry's appointment at Intel Security.

Berry said on the earnings call that he felt he was leaving FireEye with a "strong financial foundation," with significant progress made around the company's "discipline and focus around cost management as we continue our march on the path to profitability" and focus on cash flow.

"While this has been a very difficult decision, I feel it is the right time to take another position that aligns better with my personal and professional goals and that I truly feel is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Berry said.

Berry's appointment comes at a critical time for Intel Security, which is in the process of completing a blockbuster spinout from parent company Intel. The spinout, which involves a $4.2 billion deal with private equity firm TPG, is expected to be completed in April, at which time the company will once again assume the McAfee name, which it held before being acquired by Intel in 2010. Intel Security previously did not have its own CFO under Intel's ownership.

Mark Miller, CEO of M&S Technologies, a Kudelski Security company, said he didn't know Berry personally but said his background could prove critical as Intel Security looks to streamline its business and prepare for its future as an independent company.

"For me, I think any move that McAfee can make to get some quality executives is a good one. It is probably time that they need to do that," Miller said.

Miller said that background could prove especially critical as Intel Security looks to take on competition from Symantec, which has been making some major acquisitions, and potentially prepare for some acquisitions of its own.

"I doubt this will be the last one we will see. I bet there will be several [more key executive appointments] this year," Miller said.