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FireEye President Kevin Mandia promoted to CEO

The former Air Force cyber warrior is a CEO again.

Sumit Kohli

Kevin Mandia, the former U.S. Air Force cyber warrior who turned his expertise into a company he sold for more than $1 billion, is now the CEO of the security company that bought his.

That buyer, FireEye, said today that its current CEO, co-founder Dave Dewalt, would be stepping aside, and that Mandia — currently its president — would become the new CEO effective June 15. Dewalt will stay on as executive chairman.

FireEye also posted earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and issued guidance for the year that also fell short of forecasts. The company blamed a push-out in the timing of certain large deals. FireEye shares fell by more than 8 percent in after-hours trading.

FireEye emerged as a new security powerhouse when it bought out Mandia’s company, Mandiant, in early 2014 for $1.05 billion. It gained fame for naming and shaming a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army it alleged was responsible for some of the more notorious hacking crimes against U.S. and U.K.-based companies.

Later that year FireEye was called in to help investigate the most notorious hacking attack ever — the Sony Pictures breach carried out by someone working for North Korea.

We talked with Mandia about that attack last year at the first Code/Enterprise conference in San Francisco. During the interview — a video of the full session is below — Mandia insisted that the attack was not carried out by an insider as many critics of the official story had suggested at the time.

And while we’re on the subject, we’re planning another Code/Enterprise conference for November 15. Details about it will be coming soon.

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