A career deeply entrenched in data and cybersecurity

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After nearly forty years in high tech, Bill has
positioned himself tactically at the front of four
transformational shifts in technology.

Logo of AT&T

In my role with AT&T, I was intimately involved with the transformation of its carrier network from analog to digital. At Nortel, I was the President of the first Data Business Unit and was architect of the $9 billion Bay Networks acquisition that led Nortel into data. Additionally, I was the President of Enterprise and eCommerce Business Unit and served as the first Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). While in this role at Nortel, I was heavily involved with the incubation of Entrust and subsequently served as the chairman of the board in the 1998 IPO of Entrust, Inc.

Entrust logo

In 2001, I joined Entrust as President and CEO and later that year returned as chairman of the board. The company was significantly larger than today–home to more than 1,200 employees. And we were falling behind, losing approximately $30 million per quarter. We made hard decisions. We focused intensely, not only on improving our financial performance but more importantly, on growing and expanding our portfolio of industry-leading products and services. What we accomplished during our years as a publically traded company was no small feat, ultimately leading to a go-private under Thoma Bravo in 2009. Between 2009 and 2013, we innovated more than any other time in the company’s history and delivered over 30% product revenue growth and 34% EDITDA return. This made Entrust TB’s first and one of the best performing investments in the industry.

Logo of Silent Circle

As Silent Circle’s President and CEO, I quickly re-positioned the consumer privacy company into an Enterprise Privacy Platform (EPP) focused business. This included creating the marketing category, building the products, and re-building the sales, service and marketing functions. In addition to a financial re-engineering of the company, I completely overhauled the entire product suite to include: re-engineering and delivering a new, award-winning, Blackphone in nine months; developing an unified multi-device Silent Phone+ app for iOS and Android from two separate apps; creating a true “SAAS” enterprise management capability; migrating from a carrier-based network with internal data centers to a cloud-based AWS infrastructure. The customer service function was also reset to handle enterprise client support with the associated metrics required of an enterprise.

Logo of SonicWall

As CEO, I launched SonicWall as an independent company from Dell (a double carve out.) Under my leadership, the company focused on transforming revenue models across hardware, software, service, virtual, and cloud. SonicWall expanded its product platform to deliver end-to-end cybersecurity, leading the company to surpass their financial and operational goals through July 2022 (with the financial performance of “Rule of 46”), and three dividend recaps for shareholders, returning ~1.5 investment.

During my tenure at SonicWall, I focused the company’s growth in four areas:

  • Next-generation firewall features
  • The user interface, user experience and application program interface of its cloud-based products
  • Globalization management system (GMS)
  • Growing core market segments
Bill Conner

Business leaders in the public and private sectors are seeking “Trusted Advisors” that can help them navigate the complex, risky and changing security landscape. I have had the opportunity to co-chair the Business Software Alliance Information Security Governance Task Force as well as the Corporate Governance Task force of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Partnership. I testified before the House of Representatives, Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications & Technology in 2013, I testified before the House Government Reform Committee in 2004, and Congressional staff numerous times on the nature of threats and public-private partnerships. Additionally it was my honor to address the INTERPOL General Assembly as a non-INTERPOL member and the United Nations in 2010, and NATO in 2001.

Over time, my views of cybersecurity have evolved, as have the very fundamentals that make the market, the technologies, the software and the architectures that underpin it.