Optiv Security Expands Board Of Directors, Adds Former FireEye CEO DeWalt And Retired General David Petraeus

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Optiv Security has added two new top security advisers to its board of directors, the solution provider said Thursday.

The Denver-based security solution provider said former FireEye and McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt had joined the company as vice chairman. The company also announced the addition of retired U.S. Army General David Petraeus to the board.

The Optiv board of directors now includes DeWalt, General Petraeus, and CEO Dan Burns, as well as members of current and previous private equity owners. Those members include former owner Blackstone's Private Equity Group principal Anushka Sunder and current private equity owner KKR's head of the Technology investment team Herald Chen and Technology industry team member John Park. Chen serves as chairman of the board.

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In a statement about the appointments, Burns said DeWalt and General Petraeus add a new type of expertise to the board of directors. He said DeWalt brings a long technology background, including sitting as CEO of two major security companies and now sitting on boards of directors of many up-and-coming startups, and General Petraeus brings expertise around global threat intelligence and the public sector.

“Dave and General Petraeus are experts in their respective domains and we are really excited to welcome them to Optiv’s board of directors,” Burns said in a statement.  

In an interview with CRN about the appointment, DeWalt said he was drawn to the opportunity to join Optiv as vice chairman because he thinks the solution provider solves a growing challenge in cybersecurity. As the number of vendors in security explodes and complexity increases, he said customers will more and more turn to companies like Optiv to vet vendors and help them integrate solutions.

"The complexity for clients is off the charts. What I really like about Optiv is I think someone is going to have to take the stage in terms of being an independent, large, focused cybersecurity integrator. … Optiv to me looks like the one that probably has the best opportunity to do that," DeWalt said.

DeWalt said he plans to be "pretty active" in Optiv's day-to-day operations and strategy. He said he will look to help Optiv build up its front-end services and consulting -- like Mandiant from FireEye – as well as its managed services. He said he will also look to help Optiv expand internationally and into the federal market, with the help of General Petraeus. Finally, DeWalt said he will look to strengthen the Optiv brand.

DeWalt said he hopes to help Optiv continue to scale, including potentially through acquisition. He said he hopes to help the company grow to "create a massive platform for cyber," ultimately potentially going for an IPO.  

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