New Relic Hires Former Proofpoint Chief Exec As New CEO

Ashan Willy, who stepped down as CEO of Proofpoint in late October, will succeed Bill Staples, New Relic announced Monday.


Less than a month after going private, New Relic announced it has hired industry veteran Ashan Willy as its new CEO.

Willy, most recently the chief executive of well-known cybersecurity vendor Proofpoint, was named CEO of New Relic effective Monday, the company disclosed. Willy has succeeded Bill Staples, who’d served as CEO of the observability platform provider since mid-2021.

[Related: New Proofpoint CEO Ashan Willy Pushes Information Protection]

The hire comes after New Relic was taken private with the closing of its $6.5 billion acquisition by an investor group, led by private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG, on Nov. 8.

The deal, which was initially announced in late July, also included Accel and CapitalG as investors in the ownership group.

In a news release Monday, New Relic described Willy as a “proven leader and innovator” who, during a 25-year career, has accumulated substantial experience “in go-to-market, engineering, product management, and global strategy and planning.”

At email and data security Proofpoint — where Willy spent less than two years as CEO after joining in March 2022 — his accomplishments included overseeing the company’s transition to private ownership, through its $12.3 billion acquisition by Thoma Bravo, New Relic noted in the release.

Willy also brings “deep experience transforming businesses through data,” said Nehal Raj, co-managing partner at TPG Capital, in the release.

New Relic did not specify what Staples will be doing next. Staples is quoted in the New Relic release as saying he believes the company is “in good hands” with Willy as CEO.

In late June, New Relic said it was laying off up to 225 employees, or about 10 percent of the company’s workforce.

Prior to Proofpoint, Willy held executive roles at companies including Cisco, Juniper and Polycom.

Last week, Proofpoint announced that it had hired Sumit Dhawan, most recently the president of VMware, as its new CEO.