SonicWall CEO talks of life after Dell spinout

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SonicWall has been through it all. The San Jose, CA-based security company began as a hot start up, went public, then private, was acquired by Dell and then spun off to a private equity firm as part of the massive Dell/EMC merger in 2016. In the wake of that change, SonicWall also got a new CEO, Bill Conner, a long-time security and tech industry leader, who took the helm in November.

In this installment of the IDG CEO Interview Series, Conner spoke with Chief Content Officer John Gallant about what the Dell spin out means for customers and where SonicWall is focusing its development efforts. Hint: Think IoT, mobile and hybrid data centers. He also discussed the company’s cloud strategy and how the changing threat landscape opens up new opportunities in the enterprise for SonicWall, which is better known in the SMB space.

SonicWall was acquired by Dell, now it’s spun out by Dell. What does all that mean for the company and for its customers?

SonicWall has been around about 25 years so customers and channel partners have known SonicWall through many incarnations. I actually was closest to it when I was with Thoma Bravo {a private equity firm} and the CEO of Entrust, which was their first security play. I met the team and the company. Of course, they sold their company before I did to Dell but it’s been public, private with Thoma Bravo, with Dell and now private again with Francisco Partners {a private equity firm}. The good thing is it’s independent, it’s 100 percent focused on security, it’s 100 percent focused now on its channel partners and its customers.

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