eEye today announced the appointment of a new CEO, Kevin Hickey. I recently had a chance to sit down with Kevin and some of the new team members. Hickey is a long time veteran of the IT industry, most recently heading up NetPro. NetPro had a successful exit via a sale to Quest. Hickey is coming on board eEye with a mandate to rebuild the Retina franchise and return eEye to a place of prominence in the vulnerability management space. As is often the case, Hickey is bringing along some of the folks he has worked with in the past. Joining him as VP of Strategy is Brad Hibbert, also from NetPro and CFO Tyler Hanson, who worked with Hickey at NetPro and another company.
In addition to the NetPro folks, Hickey has also hired some new sales executives. eEye did not raise any additional funds with bringin Kevin and team on board. Hickey says that his predecessor, Kamal Arefeh left the company with a strong balance sheet and profitable business.
Good for Kevin and his team. Unfortunately I think the profitability and strength in balance sheet was due to sacrificing growth and some of the vulnerability research that eEye was known for in the past, rather than a big increase in revenue.But at least they have something to build on.
Hickey and Hibbert promise a return to eEye’s roots. They are going to refresh Retina and finally move beyond vulnerability assessment to vulnerability management. This has been tried before at eEye, but REM was never as successful as Retina was in the pure scanner market. They want to focus on the mid and SMB market for vulnerability management.
The new management team also wants to rebuild the research team that was the strength of the company in prior years. Hickey also talks about building out a strong professional services team.
The new eEye will sell both from an inside and channel model, as well as through the enterprise and the government. A very ambitious sales plan for a smaller company.But reaching the mid-market and SMB market means a strong channel program. Selling to large enterprises needs a direct sales force. Hence the need for both.
Hickey says eEye is doing everything they can to see to it that the DISA DoD wide Retina contract is renewed and is profitable for eEye. The government sector will still be a big focus of eEye, as will compliance, including PCI. To that end they will be working on increasing their ability around application and database scanning.
They were a little less clear on the future of Blink. My impression is that Blink will be moving out of the crowded and hyper-competitive endpoint market and become a tool to help in vulnerability management. We will have to see what the future holds in regard to Blink.
A few years ago when Marc Maifrett left eEye I wrote a blog post asking if the last rat had left the ship at eEye. Now with Hickey and team coming on board it looks like they are ready to rebuild the house. I wish them luck and we will be watching their progress!