A career deeply entrenched in data and cybersecurity
Bill Conner

My View of the Market

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 intimately involved with the incubation of Entrust and subsequently served as the chairman of the board in the 1998 IPO of Entrust, Inc.

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 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.

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 over hauled 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 re-set to handle enterprise client support with the associated metrics required of an enterprise.

“I have now spent the last 20 years in software deeply entrenched in data, cybersecurity and privacy. I have used these experiences to gain a greater understanding of the very nature of security & privacy and the asymmetric arms race that is occurring today within the enterprise and governments.”

Picture of a lock

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.

Bill Conner on TV

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