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CrowdStrike Poaches Two Execs From Rival SentinelOne

Kyle Alspach

The chief marketing officer and chief product officer at SentinelOne have both departed the cybersecurity vendor to join the executive team at CrowdStrike, with implications for CrowdStrike’s channel partners.

Prominent cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has lured two executives from one of its leading challengers, hiring the chief marketing officer and chief product officer from SentinelOne.

CrowdStrike announced Tuesday that Daniel Bernard, who had been CMO at SentinelOne, and Raj Rajamani, who had been its CPO, have both joined CrowdStrike’s executive team, effective immediately.

Bernard has been named CrowdStrike’s chief business officer, and his duties will include overseeing CrowdStrike’s work with channel partners. Rajamani joins CrowdStrike as its CPO for data, identity, cloud and endpoint.

[Related: CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz: Microsoft’s Security Offerings Are A ‘Leaky Lifeboat’]

Both of the new CrowdStrike executives had spent the past five years at SentinelOne.

The two companies are fierce rivals in numerous segments of the cybersecurity market, but first and foremost in endpoint detection and response (EDR) technology, where both vendors got their start. While CrowdStrike is significantly larger in terms of revenue, SentinelOne’s quarterly growth rate has doubled each quarter since going public in mid-2021.

Bernard, who’d been CMO at SentinelOne for the past four years, will report to CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz, who co-founded the company in 2011.

Notably, Bernard’s areas of oversight will include the CrowdStrike channel and alliances program with the company’s channel chief, Michael Rogers, now reporting to Bernard. In a news release, Bernard said his growth strategy will involve a focus on “doubling down on the channel and bringing CrowdStrike into new markets.”

Bernard gained channel experience earlier in his career as channel partnerships lead at Dropbox and as director of global business development at cybersecurity firm Cylance.

At CrowdStrike, in addition to overseeing all channel, alliances and business development functions, he will also head CrowdStrike’s growth initiatives targeting small and medium-sized businesses.

Rajamani, meanwhile, will report to Amol Kulkarni, chief product and engineering officer at CrowdStrike. Focus areas for Rajamani will include extended detection and response (XDR), cloud security, identity threat protection and data protection, as well as EDR.

Bernard and Rajamani’s roles are newly created for CrowdStrike. In the news release, Kurtz called the hires “a win for our customers, our partners and shareholders” and a “significant advantage” for CrowdStrike.

At SentinelOne, “they were the driving force behind the product and go-to-market strategy that helped the company go public,” Kurtz said in the release.

Bernard and Rajamani both had initially joined SentinelOne in 2017, and prior to that they had each held roles at Cylance.

CrowdStrike is two years older than SentinelOne and has a significantly larger business, while continuing to enjoy strong growth. Revenue during CrowdStrike’s fiscal third quarter, ended Oct. 31, 2022, climbed 53 percent year-over-year to $580.9 million.

SentinelOne, however, has continued to gain traction. The vendor has more than doubled its revenue, year-over-year, during all six of its quarters as a publicly traded company — most recently growing 106 percent to $115.3 million during its fiscal third quarter, ended Oct. 31, 2022.

CrowdStrike held the largest share of the EDR market in 2021 at 12.6 percent, according to IDC market share figures. SentinelOne did not rank in the top seven in 2021 for EDR market share. That year, Kurtz told CRN that he believes SentinelOne has suffered from being built as an anti-virus product with no compression algorithm to work at scale. Nicholas Warner, who was then the COO of SentinelOne and is now an advisor, fired back at the time by contending that his company pioneered a novel AI-driven approach to EDR.

Beyond endpoint security, CrowdStrike and SentinelOne have also been competing in market segments including cloud workload protection, identity security and XDR. Each company has also pointed to high-speed data analytics technology — gained through the 2021 acquisitions of Humio by CrowdStrike and Scalyr by SentinelOne — as a key enabler for their security platform.

Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at kalspach@thechannelcompany.com.

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