Websense Appoints New CEO

Websense over the weekend announced the promotion of John McCormack to the CEO office. He replaces longtime CEO Gene Hodges, who retiring. The leadership changes come as the security vendor announces 5 percent increase in quarterly sales.

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Security software vendor Websense Inc. is undergoing a sweeping leadership change as its longtime CEO Gene Hodges is retiring and its president, John McCormack, is stepping up to take the helm.

McCormack is no stranger to Websense. He joined the company in 2006 as senior vice president of product development. In 2009, he was elevated to president, overseeing sales and product development.

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"With more than 25 years of security and industry experience, McCormack's leadership, vision and technical insight has been a driving force in Websense's global expansion and ground-breaking innovation," said John Carrington, chairman of the company’s board of directors.

The CEO post isn’t the only office transition. Websense also appointed Russ Dietz as chief technology officer, and named Charles Boesenberg as the new independent director on the company’s board.

Websense made the unusual move of announcing the leadership changes along with fourth quarter revenue report over the weekend. The news brought a surprising end to Hodges’ tenure at Websene, who has overseen the expansion of the security filtering and data loss prevention company through acquisition, new technology development and overseas expansion.

The leadership changes come in conjunction with the release of Websense’s fourth quarter financial results, which saw year-over-year sales bookings increase 5 percent. The company says the results are better than anticipated or forecasts.

While Websense is says its Triton products of Web filtering and DLP functions are selling well, it’s facing an increasingly tougher market. Larger vendors, such as Symantec and McAfee press DLP solutions, and innovative vendors such as Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet incorporate more data protection functions into their products.

Where Websense is enjoying success is against longtime rival Blue Coat, which has struggled through its own leadership changes over the last 18 months. Websense hasn’t been shy about its ability to win over Blue Coat staff, partners and customers.

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