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Forcepoint Appoints Rees Johnson Chief Product Officer to Accelerate Company’s Data-first SASE Strategy

Industry veteran joins the company during period of strong double-digit growth in revenue and new customer acquisition in just two quarters as an independent company

Forcepoint, a global leader in data-first cybersecurity, announced Rees Johnson has joined the company as Chief Product Officer (CPO). Johnson will play a critical role as the company continues to deliver its Data-first Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions that enable enterprises and government agencies to protect the lifeblood of their organization – data – anywhere it is accessed.

Johnson will oversee the company’s entire product portfolio, including leadership and management of all product development, innovation and strategic integration efforts. As CPO, he will focus on continuous customer value-creation through the industry’s only data-first SASE offering, delivering unified secure access and data protection that spans on-premises, hybrid and cloud.

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“Today’s reality is that people are working from, well, everywhere. Securing hybrid and rapidly evolving computing environments is proving to be beyond the reach of most companies. Providing secure network access is only half the battle. Progressive organizations must also address the protection of precious information assets in perimeter-less networking environments. Forcepoint is revolutionizing data security by enabling users to safely access and use data anywhere they work,” said Manny Rivelo, CEO of Forcepoint. “And this is resonating with customers. We’ve added more than a thousand new customers in the past six months and our data protection business is growing exponentially.”

Rivelo continued, “The timing is perfect to welcome Rees Johnson as our Chief Product Officer. Forcepoint’s data security heritage has proven to be a game-changer for SASE, and Rees’ background made him the perfect executive to assume the helm of leading our SASE product development teams. Rees has been a cybersecurity innovator and disruptor for more than two decades and I look forward to partnering with him as we accelerate investment and development in the industry’s only Data-first SASE offering.”

A security technology veteran, Johnson brings more than 20 years of product leadership experience in network security, cloud security and SaaS migration strategy to Forcepoint. He has the unique distinction of having served on the leadership team of the three largest information security acquisitions in the market including McAfee by Intel for $7B, Bluecoat by Symantec for $4.6B and Symantec by Broadcom for $10B.

Johnson joins Forcepoint from Symantec, where he was senior vice president of product management for the company’s Enterprise Division. In this role, he led the company’s efforts to move all products to support a full SaaS business model while helping support customer migration to SaaS from traditional on-premises products. Prior to Symantec, Johnson held senior leadership roles at Intel (formerly McAfee) including senior vice president and general manager of the Content and SaaS Security business as well as senior vice president of McAfee Labs. He has also served as general manager and senior vice president for Network Security at McAfee where he doubled the company’s Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) bookings to achieve number one market share. Additional leadership roles at McAfee include senior vice president of product management for the System Security and Risk Management business units and director of product management for ePO.

“The future of network security is absolutely SASE and to lead with data is paramount. Forcepoint’s data-first SASE strategy is the way forward for organizations today. Forcepoint has a rich and proven history of data security leadership including nine times placement in the leader quadrant by the industry’s most recognized analyst firm,” said Johnson.

He continued, “Forcepoint has a strategic advantage in being a leader in the increasingly crowded global SASE market with its data-first differentiation. Key to success is providing customers a pathway to the cloud at their pace and in a way that meets their unique requirements. Forcepoint has done a phenomenal job through its customer-first focus, which is critical to exceed customer expectations in embracing the move to cloud. There is a tremendous opportunity in front of us and I look forward to continuing to develop and innovate new pathways for customers as they realize the true business enabling power security can deliver.”

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