Sophos CEO steps down in sudden move

Sophos logo and branding pictured at a tech conference.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sophos has confirmed that chief executive Kris Hagerman will step down as the company looks to consolidate its position as a cyber security as a service provider. 

Joe Levy will assume the role following Hagerman’s departure after being appointed president last year.

Hagerman, who will serve as an advisor to the company until April 1, has been CEO of Sophos since 2012. He's led the company through significant growth, with revenue reaching more than $1 billion, and its worldwide customer base growing from around 150,000 customers to more than 580,000.

He also led the company's successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange in 2015, and oversaw its sale to Thoma Bravo in 2020.

"I am proud of our team’s accomplishments over the last 12 years as we have transformed Sophos into a true next-generation cyber security leader and an industry innovator in delivering cyber security as a service," Hagerman said.

"I am excited to pass the baton to Joe Levy as president and acting CEO to lead Sophos into the future. Joe and I have worked closely together for over nine years, and he has been pivotal in leading our product, services and technology initiatives that have underpinned Sophos’ growth. He has my full and enthusiastic support."

Sophos eyes managed service gains

Levy has been with the company for nine years, having joined from Blue Coat Systems. Since the sale to Thoma Bravo, Levy is credited with turning the company from a product-only vendor into a global cyber security as a service company, with Sophos now having more than 20,000 managed services customers worldwide.

He also launched the company's operational threat intelligence unit, Sophos X-Ops, a 500-person team offering real-time and historical attack data. 

"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to further grow Sophos as a global cyber security leader. Many organizations worldwide are still neglected relative to the industry’s focus on securing large enterprises, leaving them exposed to opportunistic and targeted attacks," Levy said.

"Our immediate goal is to work with our partners to further expand our collective ability to secure organizations that are unprotected or need stronger cyber defenses."

Last January, Sophos announced that it was laying off 10% of its staff - around 450 people worldwide - as part of its restructuring.

The aim, it said, was to "achieve the optimal balance of growth and profitability" and to allocate more resources to its cyber security as a service operations.

"We’re pleased to appoint Joe as the President and acting CEO of Sophos. Joe’s hands-on career as a cybersecurity practitioner, innovator and successful business leader moves Sophos into a whole new level of competitiveness," said Chip Virnig, partner at Thoma Bravo and a Sophos board member.

"With his industry pedigree and accomplishments, Joe is well-positioned to lead Sophos in the direction the market is demanding."

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance journalist writing for publications including the BBC, Private Eye, Forbes, Raconteur and specialist technology titles.