Optiv Security Nabs Former RSA Top Sales Executive To Lead Global Sales

Optiv Security has landed a huge executive win to lead its worldwide sales strategy, saying Tuesday it has appointed former RSA top sales executive David Castignola to the role.

Castignola had spent 20 years at RSA, climbing the ranks from a district manager in 1997 to most recently serving as senior vice president of worldwide sales. In that role, he most notably helped create the enterprise selling division, helped launch the federal group, and ran the company's international business.

At Optiv, Castignola will serve as executive vice president of worldwide sales. He started in the role Monday.

[Related: Optiv Security Acquires Comm Solutions, Expands In Northeast In First Post-Private Equity Purchase]

Sponsored post

In an interview with CRN, Castignola said he decided to join Denver-based Optiv because of the challenges he saw customers facing around the security industry, where he said CISOs are growing more frustrated and fatigued at the sheer number of security threats and vendor offerings meant to solve the problem. He said there is an opportunity for companies like Optiv to help customers navigate this security crossroads.

"To me, this [move] is about a change to really make an impact with Optiv, and I think Optiv has a great opportunity to help our clients," Castignola said. Castignola also highlighted the company's culture and opportunity to grow sales globally as reasons he decided to join Optiv.

In an email to CRN, an RSA spokesperson said Ted Kamionek, vice president of business operations, will fill the global sales role for the company on an interim basis.

’We thank Dave for his passion and commitment to driving our Business-Driven Security vision forward and wish him well. We are confident in Ted Kamionek’s ability to step in and assume the global role on an interim basis. Ted’s deep knowledge of the RSA business, its customer base and the security industry will be invaluable as he helps continue the transformation of RSA by re-igniting and advancing the sales team. His experience in leading the channel transformation and previous leadership roles in sales operations, corporate development and product management make him the ideal candidate to enable our sales organization to collaborate with other functions and drive growth at RSA," the spokesperson said.

The global sales executive role is a new one for Optiv. In an interview with CRN, CEO Dan Burns said Optiv was looking for an executive to help the company develop and direct its market strategy, as well as prep the company for globalization. Burns highlighted Castignola's experience leading global sales organizations, high operational excellence, and a history of developing high-growth sales strategies. He said Castignola also has a good reputation in the security industry, a focus on providing "white-glove services to clients," and brings a vendor perspective to the sales process.

’We hired Dave because he’s one of the most highly respected sales leaders in the security industry. He’s someone we have known for many years and has a proven track record for building elite sales organizations," Burns said.

Burns said Castignola's priorities in the new role will first be to better get to know Optiv, a company he already knows through his time working at RSA. Then, Burns said further expansion in the North American market is the "No. 1 priority for the organization." Castignola said he will look to do that by enhancing account management, overall enablement and readiness, and accessing the company's market strategy and execution plan in the region. From there, Burns said the role's next priority will be to develop a go to market strategy for global execution and growth.

"He has been there, he has done this before, and so we are excited to have him lead that charge as we build out our global presence from a sales perspective. … We're excited about his overall tenure and experience in the space," Burns said. "With Dave, we're looking for leadership. We're looking for him to really spearhead a high-performing sales organization," he said.

Castignola's appointment is the first major executive addition since Optiv announced its blockbuster acquisition by private equity firm KKR, a deal that closed in February. At that time, Optiv said it would look to leverage the new ownership to expand the company globally and make acquisitions. Optiv has already made an acquisition since the close, acquiring Comm Solutions in March. Burns said Castignola's appointment is "part of the further development of the organization at Optiv."

"We have big plans, along with KKR. We have big plans to go global and become the most recognized brand in cybersecurity and this is just a part of that journey," Burns said.

Burns said Optiv will look to continue expanding its executive leadership team, with plans to hire a marketing leader and a partner alliance leader. He said Optiv will also continue to grow its sales organization under Castignola.