Cisco taps former VMware exec to head security push

Chris Young, formerly SVP at VMware, to head newly formed Cisco Security Group

Cisco today announced a former VMware executive will head up the newly formed Cisco Security Group at Cisco, which combines two formerly separate units into one security-focused group.

In a blog posting today, Cisco Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior said Chris Young, formerly senior vice president and general manager at VMware, has joined Cisco as senior vice president of Cisco Security Group. "For the first time, the security engineering team will be led by an SVP, reporting directly to me," Warrior said in her weblog today. She indicated Young will now be responsible for "Cisco's overall security vision."

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Tom Gillis, formerly vice president of the security technologies business unit, left Cisco to purse an entrepreneurial opportunity, a Cisco spokesman said. Gillis had spearheaded Cisco's security engineering direction, including the SecureX architecture announced earlier this year.

As head of the Cisco Security Group, Young is expected to take up that baton when he officially starts at Cisco on Nov. 14. But Cisco is doing a bit of reshuffling internally in forming the Cisco Security Group, which will combine what was called global government security solutions, mainly focused on the public sector, with the unit Gillis had headed.

According to Cisco's weblog today, Young's background as SVP at VMware includes the responsibility for strategy, products, engineering and delivery across all of VMware's end user computing solutions.

Prior to VMware, Young is said to have been senior vice president, products at RSA, the security division of EMC, where he was responsible for strategy, product management, product marketing and delivery of products across all of RSA's Identity and Access Assurance, Security information and Event Management, Governance Risk and Compliance and Data Security solutions. He is credited with assisting in acquisitions there of the firms Cyota Inc., Passmark and Archer Technologies.

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