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FireEye execs exit, following hundreds of staff restructured into redundancy

Board chair and CFO resign

FireEye has bid farewell to two of its top executives, who are departing on the heels of the hundreds of staff who left following CEO Kevin Mandia's restructure of the business last year.

The enterprise cybersecurity outfit is still “on the path to profitability” according to Mandia, who announced the departures of his colleagues while stressing the need to view its financial results “in the context of [the] transitions that we are going through” during the company's recent earnings call.

As Mandia said, following FireEye's restructing last year, which cost it $27.6m, it “lost a number of fully ramped sales reps and this reduced our sales capacity during the fourth quarter.”

Aside from the changing of some top brass, those contextualising transitions are seeing the company commit to grooming its channel partners to pick up the resources it had made redundant in sales. The move, made for cost-saving purposes, was driven by Mandia as well as chief financial and operating officer, Mike Berry, who has now resigned from the company.

FireEye made roughly 350 staff redundant last year, and Berry is following them out of the business now with a $251,125 cash bonus. He is joined by David DeWalt, who became executive chairman of the board when he was replaced by Mandia as FireEye's CEO back in June 2016. DeWalt has also resigned.

Frank Verdecanna, formerly the chief accounting officer, has been appointed executive veep and the new CFO at FireEye, and will now be earning $370,000 a year, plus a target annual bonus of $185,000 and up to $750,000 in FireEye's common stock shares.

During the earnings call, analyst Andrew James Nowinski pointed out that rivals “Check Point, Symantec, [and] Fortinet, all put up solid quarters” and asked whether FireEye's quarter, which was relatively less so, could be attributed to the company's “restructuring”. The outgoing Berry responded that he thought “a lot of it relates at the end of the day to the focus that we were providing and really the lack of sales management”.

A range of those vacant sales management positions have now been filled. Kevin Taylor will now lead the company's EMEA sales organisation, reporting to Bill Robbins, who joined FireEye in November as executive veep of worldwide sales. Meanwhile, John Watters, the former CEO of iSIGHT Partners, has been appointed to the newly created role of executive vice president of Global Services and Intelligence.

Mandia said the business was “very close to appointing our new leader in Japan”, which will be particularly important in shoring up the shortages the company complained of in Asia Pacific, which contributed to its dry Q4.

A company spokesperson told The Register: “Last summer, FireEye took on a major priority to rightsize its cost structure, and that decision accelerated our progress on the path to profitability. We are grateful that Mike helped put us on that path.” ®

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