Ex-Skyhigh Networks Exec Named CEO Of Container Security Startup

StackRox has appointed former Skyhigh Networks product leader Kamal Shah as CEO to scale up the company's engineering, customer success and channel footprint.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based container security startup tapped Shah to replace co-founder Ali Golshan, who has served as CEO since April following more than three years as the company’s CTO. Shah spent nearly five years as senior vice president of products and marketing at rising cloud security star Skyhigh Networks until it was acquired by McAfee at the start of 2018.

"It's always been my childhood dream to run a company and help grow a business," said Shah, whose first day at StackRox was Aug. 27. "I've been in learning mode and drinking from the fire hose in all aspects of the company."

[Related: 10 Things You Need To Know About The McAfee-Skyhigh Networks Cloud Security Megadeal]

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StackRox currently conducts all of its business through roughly a dozen regional, national and federal channel partners, according to Shah. The company is currently recruiting boutique and regional VARs with a focus on digital transformation since that's a driving force behind the use of containers and microservices, Shah said.

Specifically, Shah said StackRox wants solution providers with strong knowledge and expertise in DevOps, DevSecOps and security, as well as partners who have relationships with critical senior operations, security, and security engineer leaders. The company is focused this year on getting a handful of strong new partners to join rather than a volume play, according to Shah.

Going forward, Shah wants to make sure solution providers can not only handle product fulfillment, but also provide customers with expertise and services through the deployment and rollout process.

As customers embark upon the journey to cloud-native architectures, Shah said the environment around micro-services and containers has continued to grow. As a result, Shah said clients are in need of expertise around the best practices for compliance and security, as well as a sense of how they should be thinking about containers.

"This is a ten-year journey that we're on," Shah said. "There's a tremendous opportunity for the channel to fill that need."

When it comes to implementation, Shah said solution providers can help address specific compliance needs around PCI, HIPAA, NIST or GDPR. And when a breach is detected, Shah said channel partners can help with remediation, incident response and forensics.

Shah said he plans to invest heavily across StackRox, bolstering the company's marketing team to drive demand, sales team to fill demand, as well as the engineering and customer success organizations. The company currently has 15 customers, Shah said, and focuses primarily on Global 2000 companies, federal agencies, or cloud-native organizations.

Any company using micro-services out of a container, Kubernetes, or Docker would be an ideal customer for StackRox, according to Shah.

Going forward, Shah said he plans to focus heavily on customer satisfaction and success by examining Net Promoter Scores to ensure customers are getting value from the product. Shah also plans to monitor the company's revenue, number of customers, and the rate at which StackRox is expanding deployment.

"This is a rapidly growing and evolving field," Shah said.