Cylance Hires Former AlienVault Exec As CFO, Adding A Leader With IPO And Acquisition Experience

Endpoint security company Cylance said Thursday it has hired Brian Robins as its new CFO.

Robins, who has experience with IPOs and acquisitions, joins Cylance most recently from AlienVault, where he also was CFO. He has held CFO roles as well at CSC, Verisign and NeuStar, the latter of which he led through an IPO and the integration of multiple acquisitions.

"I am excited to join Cylance and have the opportunity to contribute to the next phase of the company’s success,’ Robins said in a statement about the appointment. ’Cylance has disruptive technology, is experiencing hyper-growth in a large market, and has a really great team."

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Robins replaces founding CFO Jeffrey Ishmael, who left the company in November and is listed on his LinkedIn page as on sabbatical. Robins will report directly to CEO Stuart McClure, the company said.

Bill Strub, CEO of St. Paul, Minn.-based NaviLogic, said the appointment of Robins as well as other recent appointments continue Cylance's evolution into a more mature company instead of an early stage startup. Strub said Cylance has grown very quickly – with his own business having the best quarter in the second quarter with the company as a partner – and the new leadership could help take it to that next stage of maturity and growth.

"I think that it's only a good thing," Strub said. "The original team has grown the company to where it is at this point in time, but bringing in a vision of a more mature organization and operational competencies will allow Cylance to be a more efficient and effective company."

Strub said he particularly hopes Robins will drive investments in product development to accelerate the launch of new products and features. He said he also would like to see continued strong investments in sales and the channel to continue the work done by existing leadership, including channel chief Didi Dayton and head of sales John Giacomini.

Robins' appointment also comes after Cylance continues to see growth in the endpoint security market. The company reported sales growth of 283 percent last year and bookings growth of 119 percent. Cylance did $11.1 million in revenue in 2015, according to the Inc. 5000. Cylance also reported 169 percent growth in the number of customers it works with in 2016.

Cylance has landed a valuation of more than $1 billion and sits as one of the more prominent upstarts in an exploding market for endpoint security. However, it is also facing increasing pressure as competition in the space heats up from incumbents and emerging security vendors.

In a statement about Robins' appointment, CEO McClure said he expects the new CFO will "add incredible experience to Cylance in the next phase of the company's accelerated growth both domestically and internationally."

"Brian has a proven record of increasing company performance and will be critical in building out our financial infrastructure to support our continued hyper-growth and expansion into adjacent markets," McClure said.