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.

AT&T logo

In my role with AT&T, I was intimately involved with the transformation of its carrier network from analog to digital. I also oversaw the manufacturing supply management of a $2 billion portfolio of carrier products, and successfully led labor management efforts with active local and national unions.

Nortel logo

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 intimately 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 on improving not only 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 publicly-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% EBITDA return. This made Entrust TB’s first and one of the best performing investments in the industry.

Sectigo logo

In 2017 I was named Executive Chairman of the Board at Sectigo, formerly Comodo CA. I oversaw the transition in ownership from the Comodo organization as Comodo CA, an industry leader in TLS and SSL digital certificates with more than 200,000 customers across 150 countries. Under my leadership, the company was rebranded as Sectigo, and expanded the business with organic and inorganic growth to reach a “Rule of 70.” In September 2020, Francisco Partners sold Sectigo to GI Partners for 3x return on investment.

SonicWall logo

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 five areas:

  • Next-generation firewall features
  • The user interface, user experience and application program interface of its cloud-based products
  • Globalization management system (GMS)
  • The SonicOS software operating system and hardware platforms
  • 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, and in 2004 the House Government Reform Committee and briefed Members of Congress 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.