Splunk appoints Gary Steele as new CEO

Splunk appoints Gary Steele as new CEO

Monitoring and security specialist recruits ex-Proofpoint CEO in the wake of the surprise departure of Doug Merritt last year.

Gary Steele (Splunk)

Gary Steele (Splunk)

Credit: Splunk

Splunk has named Gary Steele as its new CEO, three months after the surprise resignation of long-time CEO Doug Merritt.

“The board is focused on identifying a leader with a proven track record of scaling operations and growing multi-billion-dollar enterprises,” Merritt said in a statement at the time.

The market now knows that leader is Steele, who was the founding CEO of software-as-a-service (SaaS) security vendor Proofpoint, a company he led for nearly 20 years. During that time, Steele navigated both an IPO in 2012 and a private equity buyout from Thoma Bravo last year. He will start on April 11, when he will also take a seat on Splunk’s board.

Best known for its security, logging and monitoring software, Splunk has shifted its business model focus from on-premise towards cloud-based SaaS consumption, which plays to Steele’s strengths.

“Gary is a visionary leader whose software and cybersecurity expertise, deep understanding of SaaS and recurring revenue models, and unwavering commitment to driving innovation and customer success on a global scale will be invaluable to Splunk on our path to $5 billion and beyond,” Splunk’s interim CEO Graham Smith said in a statement.

Prior to Proofpoint, Steele was CEO of Portera and also held various leadership roles at Sybase, Sun Microsystems and then Hewlett-Packard.

"I’ve dedicated my career to helping companies around the world safeguard their data, systems and infrastructure, and know firsthand how critical Splunk’s products and solutions have become to customers as they navigate hybrid, multi-cloud environments with increasingly complex attacks and threat actors," Steele stated.

"Splunk is executing against a tremendous opportunity, and I look forward to working with the team to ensure the business reaches its full potential. Splunk has incredible talent and an innovative and customer-centric ethos."

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