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Cylance Founder, CEO Stuart McClure Exits Months After BlackBerry Deal

McClure is at least the eighth prominent Cylance executive to leave the endpoint security vendor in the seven months following the close of the $1.4 billion acquisition by BlackBerry.

Cylance top executive Stuart McClure has left the company, the latest in a string of high-profile departures since the security vendor was bought by BlackBerry earlier this year.

"Stuart McClure, unfortunately, after the integration completed, has decided to move on," BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen told investors Tuesday. "I would have wanted him to stay longer, but he had made a personal decision, which we have to respect."

McClure co-founded Cylance in July 2012 to disrupt the stagnant endpoint security market, and grew the company to 900 employees and more than 3,500 active customers before selling the Irvine, Calif.-based business to Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry in February 2019 for $1.4 billion.

[Related: 8 Things You Need To Know About The $1.4B BlackBerry-Cylance Deal]

At the time of the closing, BlackBerry said that McClure would "continue to apply his visionary math-based approach to threat detection, prevention, and response" as president of BlackBerry Cylance. Neither McClure nor BlackBerry Cylance immediately responded to requests for comment.

"If you suddenly had [a ton of money] in your bank account, how long would you stick around your job if you didn’t have to contractually?" a Cylance partner who didn't wish to be identified told CRN. "I think 99 percent of the U.S. population would be gone as quickly as possible."

The company has promoted right-hand man Daniel Doimo to replace McClure as the new president of BlackBerry Cylance, Chen told investors Tuesday. Doimo joined Cylance from Schneider Electric in February 2017 to serve as president and COO, and became COO of BlackBerry Cylance once the acquisition closed in February.

McClure is at least the eighth prominent Cylance executive to leave the company in the seven months following the close of the BlackBerry transaction. The first dominoes fell in March, with the departure of three of Cylance's top channel executives.

Didi Dayton, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances, left for the global channel chief role at Vectra (she has since left Vectra to become a partner at Wing Venture Capital); Tim Mackie, vice president of international channels and worldwide distribution, took the global channel chief role at SentinelOne; and Louise Cooke, director of North America channel, became the vice president of VAR channels at BigID.

In late July, Malcolm Harkins, Cylance's chief security and trust officer, left for the same role at startup Cymatic, and Chris Scanlan, senior vice president of North American sales, became Check Point's president of Americas sales. A month later, Abigail Maines, vice president of business development, followed Scanlan to Check Point to become head of the company's Americas channel sales organization.

And multiple sources have told CRN that Brian Stoner, who replaced Dayton as vice president of worldwide channels following the close of the BlackBerry deal, has also left the company. Stoner - who had served as Cylance's senior director of global alliances prior to the close of the BlackBerry deal - didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Cylance partner who didn't wish to be identified told CRN they're surprised BlackBerry didn't offer the leaders coming over bigger retainment packages to keep them longer. The executives that have left Cylance since the deal closed are well-known and respected across the industry, the partner said, and many other younger security companies with shares to give out are eager to hire them.

"The mass exit is sure to hurt them in near- and long-term," the partner told CRN. "I'm not surprised at all that people left if they got paid big sums of money and didn't receive good reasons to stay."

On the earnings call, Chen talked up BlackBerry Cylance's strong bench on both the sales and engineering side of the operation. The data scientists, development head, and chief product officer at BlackBerry Cylance have all stuck around and worked hard alongside BlackBerry's CTO and development head to fully integrate Cylance's business and technology, according to Chen.

In addition, Chen praised BlackBerry Cylance Chief Revenue Officer Dave Castignola for his commitment to the mission and deep experience running sales at RSA, where he worked for nearly two decades. And Chen noted that Cylance Co-Founder and Chief Scientist Ryan Permeh was promoted to serve as the chief security architect for all of BlackBerry.

BlackBerry Cylance contributed $51 million of revenue to the company in the quarter ended Aug. 31, which Chen said was up 24 percent on a year-over-year basis and in line with expectations. Cylance's annual recurring revenue is approximately $170 million, Chen said, up 21 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Although the company's overall adjusted sales for the quarter climbed 22 percent to $261 million, that fell short of Seeking Alpha's revenue estimate of $267.9 million. BlackBerry's stock plummeted $1.70 (22.64 percent) to $5.81 in trading Tuesday, which is the lowest closing price for the company's stock since September 2003.

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