FireEye’s CEO Kevin Mandia said goodbye to someone much more than his second-in-command when Travis Reese stepped down on March 1. It will be bidding farewell to the long-time business confidante who joined the company in 2006 as president. After fourteen years, Travis is ready to retire from his current responsibilities although he plans to remain on board as an advisor.
“Travis and I have shared a brain for 20-something years,” Mandia said. “I think I knew his habits better than I knew my wife’s habits. So, there’s going to be total continuity in the mission and the things we put forward.”
Its a strong friendship that started when Mandia served with Reese in the United States Air Force during 1996. He brought Reese on to work at his incident response and security consulting business Mandiant. When FireEye acquired his firm for a billion dollars in 2014, he brought Reese to work at their new parent company.
"When we're 80 years old, and on the front porch, we'll be talking about FireEye," Mandia said. “Travis and I will always work together, and we’ll always benefit from his guidance.”
It's been a good stretch, but his president is moving on, and Mandia needs to tighten up on expenditures. Reese's departure helps as part of FireEye’s goal of reducing operational costs by $20 to $25 million. The firm is tasked with cutting up to $50 million from less promising aspects of the business to achieve that goal while simultaneously making investments in faster-growing segments.
To fill the Reese-shaped gap left in the company’s landscape, Mandia is bringing in seasoned industry veteran Peter Bailey to serve as EVP and COO. Previously, Bailey was CEO of Vertical Communications, a telecom company that specialized in private branch exchange. He is charged with ensuring "operational discipline" that is essential for FireEye to achieve its growth goals.
FireEye is also promoting Bill Robbins from EVP, worldwide sales, to chief revenue officer and general manager of products. Robbins' promotion is about creating a unifying vision for product, customer success, marketing, and sales. By bringing together these disparate departments under one leader, it supports FireEye's growth in platform, cloud, and services products.
“When you’ve got to execute and execute quickly, you reduce your span of control and roll,” Mandia said. “And that’s what we’re doing as an organization.”
Sales for the quarter ending December 31 increased by 8 percent to $235.1 million, up from $217.5 million the year prior. The firm has been struggling to stay profitable since going public in 2013 and reported a net loss of $257.4 million for the year.