CEO Interview: Blue Coat Systems' Mike Borman

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Talk about pressure. Mike Borman had been at Blue Coat Systems as CEO only about three weeks when IDG Enterprise Chief Content Officer John Gallant and InfoWorld.com Editor-in-Chief Eric Knorr pinned him down for an interview on where he plans to take the application delivery technology company. In this installment of the IDGE CEO Interview Series, Borman -- who was formerly CEO of Avocent and a top IBM executive, among other roles -- talked about new directions for Blue Coat, including moves to capture opportunities in cloud computing and in the market for midsized IT shops. Joined by Chief Product Officer and former CEO Brian NeSmith, Borman also discussed the tough competitive landscape where Blue Coat battles companies like Riverbed and Cisco in WAN optimization and security.

Why did you take this position? What did you see in the company, and why did you think this was the right opportunity?

Borman: I looked at more than 20 different CEO opportunities, some private, some public. Most were software. That's where my strength is and that's where I think I can add the most value. I was looking at a number of attributes. The first was: What kind of market are they in? My view of this market, if you abstract it up, is that we're here to make the Internet faster and more secure. Over the past 20, 30 years, the Internet has been built without many rules. It's like building roads all over America and having no speed limits and no stop signs. We can add a lot of value in round two of structuring the Internet. I think the surface has just been scratched. There's so much more that we'll be able to do, in terms of security and making things faster, but actually making some rules so that people can communicate at the right time, with the right information.

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