Amit Yoran leaves Dell RSA unit to head Tenable Network Security

(Reuters) - Amit Yoran is stepping down as president of Dell Technologies Inc's DVMT.N cyber security unit to run Tenable Network Security Inc, a well-financed private cyber security company that is looking to boost revenue growth.

Yoran, 46, will succeed Ron Gula, who co-founded Tenable 14 years ago, resigned the CEO post in June and is stepping down as chairman, Tenable said on Thursday. Yoran will start Jan 3.

Columbia, Maryland-based Tenable competes with Qualys Inc QLYS.O and Rapid7 Inc RPD.O in selling software that businesses and governments use to monitor large computer networks for security vulnerabilities and anomalies that indicate cyber attacks.

Dell executive David Goulden, who oversees the RSA cyber-security unit, said in an email to employees that the company had identified “a highly qualified successor” to Yoran who would step into the role in early January, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Fourteen-year-old Tenable, whose clients include U.S. intelligence agencies, raised $230 million in a November 2015 venture-capital funding round that set a record for the cyber security industry.

Yoran joined RSA via the acquisition of network forensics firm NetWitness, a firm he founded and led as CEO. He also served as founding director of the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT, a government agency that helps protect Americans against cyber attacks.

“We are bringing on a professional CEO to bring the company to its next phase of growth,” Tenable co-founder and President Jack Huffard said in an interview.

Yoran told Reuters he will focus on growing the company, expanding its product portfolio through internal development and possible acquisitions.

Tenable has previously said it has been profitable since its early days. That long distinguished the firm from most cyber security and technology startups, which spend heavily on product development and marketing so they can grow as quickly as possible.

Huffard said the firm recently decided to boost spending, and has begun to operate at a loss so that it can “invest” in future growth.

“It’s a measured approach to growth, not a crazy approach,” he said. “Getting back to profitability would not be difficult for us.”

RSA was purchased by storage giant EMC Corp in 2006, which used the acquisition to enter the cyber security business. It became part of Dell in September when the company bought EMC for $60 billion.

Reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama