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With an IPO In Sight, Palo Alto Networks Names New CFO

Palo Alto Networks Appoints Steffan Tomlinson as Chief Financial Officer

Palo Alto Networks, the Santa Clara, California based network security company best known for its Next Generation Firewalls, on Thursday announced that it has appointed Steffan Tomlinson as its new Chief Financial Officer.

Palo Alto Networks IPO

Palo Alto Networks Appoints Steffan Tomlinson as Chief Financial Officer

Palo Alto Networks, the Santa Clara, California based network security company best known for its Next Generation Firewalls, on Thursday announced that it has appointed Steffan Tomlinson as its new Chief Financial Officer.

Palo Alto Networks IPO

Tomlinson replaces Michael Lehman who served as CFO at the company for less than two years.

From 2005 to 2011, Tomlinson served as chief financial officer of Aruba Networks, playing a key role in the company’s Initial Public Offering, something attractive to Palo Alto Networks as the company moves closer to an IPO.

While the company declined to comment on specifics related to any IPO plans, it’s no secret that the company has an IPO in its sights. Founder and CTO Nir Zuk has been clear that the company, despite being approached by others to be acquired several times in the past, is not interested in selling, and will go public.

People familiar with the matter recently told the Wall Street Journal that the company has reached out to investments banks to request proposals to serve as bookrunners for its potential IPO.

In August 2011 the company announced that former VeriSign CEO, Mark D. McLaughlin, would join Palo Alto Networks and take the reigns as president and CEO.

Palo Alto Networks has raised $64 Million in funding to date, with the most recent round taking place in 2008. The company has been cashflow positive from operations for several consecutive quarters, and in August 2011 announced that it had achieved a bookings run above the US$200 million mark that it had previously stated as a target. The company recently moved into a larger headquarters in Santa Clara to accommodate its growth.

The company, which prides itself on having 100% of its design and manufacturing taking place on United States soil, has only been selling a product since August 2008, but claims over 4,500 customers.

“Palo Alto Networks has experienced tremendous growth over the past years and is well-positioned for the future,” said Mark McLaughlin, chief executive officer and president at Palo Alto Networks. “I am delighted that Steffan is joining us. His proven ability to manage growth through a transition from the private to the public markets, combined with his passion for innovation and focus on customer success, make him a great fit for our long-term strategy.”

From 2000 to 2005, Tomlinson served multiple roles including CFO of Peribit Networks, a WAN optimization technology company acquired by Juniper Networks in 2005 in a deal valued at approximately $337 million. He earned an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BA from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

A Palo Alto Network spokesperson declined to comment on any moves by the company to get closer to an IPO and the terms of Michael Lehman’s departure, though the company did say Lehman would help during the transition.

Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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