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Forescout CMO Leaving Company As Exec Turnover Continues

‘They [Forescout] actually need new and updated messaging as they are starting to get drowned out in the market with other IoT players coming up like Armis, Ordr and Palo Alto Networks,’ one partner tells CRN.

Forescout Chief Marketing Officer Neville Letzerich will be departing the company next week, the latest in a string of executive departures for the IoT security vendor.

Letzerich joined Forescout in November 2019 following a short stint at Virtru and was influential to the entire organization, particularly as it relates to the company’s new branding, a source familiar with the situation told CRN. He is being replaced by VP of Revenue Marketing Kerry Ford and VP of Corporate Marketing Katie Beck, who are taking on expanded roles to co-lead marketing, according to Forescout.

“Neville is departing the company at the end of the month, and we acknowledge his outstanding contribution to the company,” Forescout told CRN in a statement. “We continue to attract seasoned executives and top talent to take Forescout to the next level.”

[Related: Ex-Symantec CEO Greg Clark To Become New Forescout CEO]

Letzerich was at Forescout when the San Jose, Calif.-based company rebranded all its products under the “eye” moniker, with its device visibility offering becoming eyeSight and its policy-based control enforcement tool becoming eyeControl, a solution provider who didn’t wish to be identified told CRN. Aside from that, the partner said Letzerich hadn’t been at Forescout long enough to have much impact.

“They [Forescout] actually need new and updated messaging as they are starting to get drowned out in the market with other IoT players coming up like Armis, Ordr and Palo Alto Networks,” the solution provider said. Letzerich (pictured above) didn’t respond to requests for comment from CRN.

With Letzerich’s departure, just two of the seven members of Forescout’s leadership team will predate private equity firm Advent International’s contentious $1.4 billion acquisition of Forescout last summer. The two C-suite members with more than eight months of Forescout experience are: Chief Product and Strategy Officer Pedro Abreu, who’s been around since 2015; and Chief Technology Officer Rob McNutt.

Every other senior executive role has been vacated, with President and CEO Michael Cesare stepping down in October, CFO Christopher Harms leaving in September, Chief Revenue Officer Steve Redman leaving his post, Chief Technology and People Officer Julie Cullivan exiting in January, General Counsel Darren Milliken vacating his position, and Jonathan Corini becoming Mimecast’s global channel chief.

Forescout’s new C-suite draws heavily from Symantec since two of its former top executives worked at Crosspoint Capital Partners, who advised Advent during its tumultuous acquisition of Forescout. Advent initially planned in February 2020 to buy Forescout for $1.9 billion, but the two sides ended up in court after Advent attempted to walk away from the deal in May.

Just five days before the Forescout-Advent trial was scheduled to begin, the two sides settled and agreed to move forward with the acquisition after the purchase price was lowered by $500 million. As part of the agreement, former Symantec CFO Nicholas Noviello took over as Forescout’s CFO and COO. Two months later, ex-Symantec and Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark was revealed as DeCesare’s replacement.

Clark and Noviello brought along other Symantec and Blue Coat executives, including: SVP of Americas Sales Steve Tchejeyan, who became Forescout’s CRO; VP of Legal and Global Enterprise Sales Amanda Barry, who became Forescout’s General Counsel; VP of Americas Marketing Kerry Ford, who will lead revenue marketing; and Americas Channel Chief Keith Weatherford, who became global channel chief.

“Forescout has built and continues to build an incredible team to executive on its mission to actively defend the Enterprise of Things at scale and secure our customers’ critical assets,” Forescout told CRN in its statement. The company didn’t respond specifically to comments made by its solution providers.

Outside of Symantec, Forescout brought in Denise Quintanilla from Signify Health in January to be the company’s chief human resources officer But all those changes haven’t brought stability to Forescout, the solution provider told CRN, with an exodus of channel managers continuing to take place.

“I‘m sure the new leadership - Symantec guys - want to go a different direction, but nothing has been really communicated to partners,” the solution provider said. “The talent is slowly bleeding out, and new management is realizing the product is difficult to sell and integrate, and the value prop[osition] is diminishing.”

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