Barracuda Networks CEO Resigns

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Dean Drako, founder and chief executive of the security appliance vendor, has tendered his resignation. No replacement has been named, as Drako departs to pursue other opportunities.

Security appliance vendor Barracuda Networks is launching a CEO search as its longtime leader and cofounder Dean Drako submitted his resignation. He is leaving the company July 18.

In the interim, the company will be managed by the newly formed Office of the CEO, headed by board member Gordon Stitt, chief marketing officer Michael Perone and chief financial officer David Faugno.

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“Dean has executed with extraordinary focus, integrity and passion for the company and its customers, leading Barracuda Networks from a startup concept to the worldwide leader in content security appliances,” said Faugno, in a statement. “We wish him well in his new venture, and are pleased he has agreed to remain on our board of directors as we continue to grow the company.”

Drako, who has served as the company’s chief executive since its inception in 2003, did not disclose his future plans. He did say that he achieved many of his goals, including maintaining an annual growth rate of 30 percent and profitability over the last year.

“I met my goal of building Barracuda Networks from an idea to a highly profitable, high recurring revenue company,” said Dean Drako, Barracuda’s President and CEO. “Barracuda now has the technology, user community, and growth ramp to be a thriving public company. I would like to thank Barracuda’s employees, partners and customers, who contribute daily to its success. With the team and strategy we have put in place, I have confidence Barracuda Networks will continue to deliver great things.”

Under Drako’s leadership Barracuda has grown into a formidable competitor in the security market, giving more entrenched companies like Websense, Blue Coat and SonicWall a run for their money in security appliances. Barracuda also has a strong channel presence with resellers and systems integrators.

While CEO searches are often challenging, particularly under abrupt circumstances, there’s no indication that Drako’s departure or the management by committee will change Barracuda’s operations and channel relationships.

By comparison, Palo Alto Networks went through a similar situation last  year when Lane Bess departed the CEO post. The company operated under an Office of the CEO for nearly eight months, during which time sales, market share and channel penetration flourished.

 

 

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