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Forescout Names New CEO, Looks To Expand MSP Push

Kyle Alspach

Barry Mainz, formerly the COO of Malwarebytes and CEO of MobileIron, is succeeding Wael Mohamed at the helm of the cybersecurity company.

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New Forescout CEO Barry Mainz

Forescout Tuesday said that it has appointed tech industry veteran Barry Mainz as its new CEO as the device security vendor seeks to double down on its work with channel partners, particularly MSPs, executives told CRN.

Mainz succeeds Wael Mohamed, who stepped down as part of a planned transition, the company said. Mohamed served as Forescout’s CEO for two years as the company overhauled its technology platform and revenue model, switching from perpetual to recurring revenue, and focused on achieving revenue growth and profitability. In October, ´╗┐Forescout disclosed that it had begun the search for a new CEO and that Mohamed would be transitioning out of the role.

[Related: Forescout Gets New CEO Yet Again, Bringing In Wael Mohamed]

San Jose, Calif.-based Forescout offers an automation-driven security platform focused on protecting the full range of connected devices, spanning IT, IoT, operational technology and medical devices.

In an interview with CRN, Mainz pointed to a long track record of serving at channel-focused tech companies. From 2018 to 2022, Mainz was the COO of cybersecurity company Malwarebytes. Before that he was the CEO of MobileIron, which at the time was a publicly traded endpoint management and security vendor, from 2015 to 2017. Earlier, Mainz spent a decade as an executive with Wind River, ultimately as its president.

“[The] past several companies have been in the high 90s” in terms of the percentage of revenue they generated through the channel, Mainz told CRN. The current percentage of channel-driven sales at Forescout was not immediately available.

At Forescout, there’s an opportunity to achieve greater scale by working with the channel, given the fact that “there are some distribution channels that maybe we’re not leveraging 100 percent, like MSPs, MSSPs and SIs,” Mainz said.

Mainz wasn’t ready to discuss specifics around how Forescout might be looking to expand its work with channel partners, but pointed to the company’s recently launched MSP program as one area where “we need to put more wood behind that arrow.”

Partners Positive On Mainz Hire

Efrem Gonzales, founder and CEO of Tec-Refresh, an MSP partner of Forescout, said the selection of Mainz as CEO appears to be a good fit due to his background at channel-focused companies such as Malwarebytes. Forescout’s recently launched MSP program is starting to yield some major benefits and growth for Newport Beach, Calif.-based Tec-Refresh, and Gonzales said he’s glad to see the selection of a CEO who appears interested in continuing to build out the program.

“What we’re looking for now is further investment in lead generation activity and in channel representation across the country to help support MSPs like Tec-Refresh,” Gonzales told CRN. “So far, they’ve done that. As long as they continue that [under Mainz], and increase that investment and improve that investment, we’re on board.”

The timing is ideal for the CEO transition given that Forescout has now completed its move to an annual recurring revenue model and has achieved revenue growth and profitability as well, Forescout Chairman Greg Clark told CRN. “[That] opens up a lot of avenues for Forescout as we look ahead,” said Clark, who formerly served as CEO of Symantec and BlueCoat, and of Forescout itself.

Forescout was taken private in 2020 by private equity firms Advent International and Crosspoint Capital Partners. Mainz had been serving as an operating partner at Crosspoint since November, following his departure from Malwarebytes, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Clark, a managing partner at Crosspoint who’s served as chairman of Forescout since it was taken private, said the appointment of Mainz as Forescout’s CEO comes after the company’s leadership has “been executing the transformation of the business for the last two and a half years,” including through major investments into its channel programs.

Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at kalspach@thechannelcompany.com.

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