SalesTech Star

Proofpoint Announces CEO Transition

Gary Steele Steps Down; Ashan Willy, Proofpoint’s EVP and GM, Security Products and Services, Named Interim CEO

Proofpoint, Inc., a leading cybersecurity and compliance company, today announced that Ashan Willy, EVP and GM, Security Products and Services, has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He succeeds Gary Steele, who as founding CEO of Proofpoint is stepping down after having served in the role for the past 19 years. Mr. Steele will stay on until March 19, 2022, to ensure a smooth transition and will continue to serve on Proofpoint’s board.

“Today, the world’s largest organizations rely on Proofpoint to serve as their trusted provider of security and compliance solutions, with more than half of the Fortune 1000 deploying our leading people-centric security solutions to mitigate critical cyber risk, from ransomware, business email compromise (BEC), and supply chain threats to data loss across cloud, endpoint, web, and email,” said Gary Steele. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside an extraordinary team of world-class professionals across all facets of our global operations; a team who I am confident will continue to ensure Proofpoint is the cybersecurity and compliance partner of choice to the most forward-thinking companies on the planet.”

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Ashan Willy currently leads product management, engineering, and threat research for Proofpoint and has over 25 years of industry experience having held senior leadership positions at Webex, Juniper, Polycom, and Cisco. “I look forward to accelerating Proofpoint’s role as the trusted threat, compliance, and information protection provider at our customers,” said Ashan Willy. “Our plan is to continue to deliver world class technology, ensure customer success, and evolve our people-centric solutions to market needs, while driving profitable growth.”

Proofpoint recently released its FY 2021 financial results, which showed both revenue and billings growing by more than 20% year-over-year, with new and add-on bookings up by 25% year-over-year. As part of its rapid and successful transition to operating as a private company under Thoma Bravo, L.P. ownership, Proofpoint also announced an accelerated plan to hire over 600 people in 2022 across all organizations and all locations.

“Gary’s steady leadership of Proofpoint over the last two decades is a testament to his unwavering commitment to deliver unparalleled customer value through innovative solutions that protect organizations worldwide from the latest cybersecurity threats,” said Seth Boro, managing partner, Thoma Bravo. “We would like to thank Gary for his partnership and wish him the very best in his new endeavor.”

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