Qualys Announces Passing of Former CEO Philippe Courtot

Cloud security firm Qualys has announced the sad news of the passing of its former CEO, chairman and leader for the past 20 years, Philippe Courtot, at the age of 76.

Courtot oversaw the significant growth of Qualys since becoming its CEO in March 2001, initially investing in the company in 1999 when it was founded. His vision to build a cloud delivery platform that would allow for scanning any network on a global scale became realised in Qualys’ global expansion over the past two decades. It first went public in 2012.

Under his leadership, Qualys completed several acquisitions. In recent years these include Second Front Systems and endpoint detection and response startup Spell Security.

Born in 1944 in France, Courtot began his career selling minicomputers before arriving in the US in 1981. After a spell as CEO of Thomson CGR Medical, he founded email platform provider cc:Mail in 1988, achieving a 40% market share before selling the business to Lotus in 1991. He was then appointed president and CEO of Verity before joining Signio, where he oversaw its acquisition by VeriSign.

Courtot was also involved in several initiatives to support the security industry’s role more generally.  These include supporting the formation of the Cloud Security Alliance in 2008, founding the Trustworthy Internet Movement and CSO Interchange, and becoming a trustee for The Internet Society.

Additionally, he received a number of personal awards for his work in security over the years. In 2019, Courtot picked up the Decade of Vision Leadership Award from the Cloud Security Alliance. Last year Courtot received the Benefactor Award from the International Systems and Security Association (ISSA) Education Foundation for supporting cybersecurity and cybersecurity education.

Commenting, Sumedh Thakar, Qualys president and CEO, said: “Philippe was my mentor and advisor; the entire Qualys team and I are deeply saddened by his passing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family. We are forever grateful for Philippe’s exceptional leadership, vision and passion for helping enterprise customers with practical solutions to the biggest challenges around security. He was dedicated to making life easier for everyone from security analysts through to CISOs.”

Sandra E. Bergeron, Qualys’ lead independent director, stated: “The board and company are incredibly saddened at the loss of Philippe. He was a transformational leader with a passion for business and cybersecurity, who cared deeply about Qualys and its employees. We look forward to honoring him by continuing to grow the company based on his vision.”

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