This week Fortinet filed a lawsuit against Sophos alleging that we have unfairly attracted too many of their employees. We have great respect for Fortinet as a company and as a competitor. But they’ve got this one all wrong.
It’s understandable that Fortinet would be disappointed that some of their talented professionals are choosing to work at Sophos. However, Fortinet’s attempt to retain employees by unfairly restricting their freedom to join a successful company like Sophos (or any other company) is not a strategy for success.
At Sophos we let our strategy, products, and culture attract and retain top talent, and Fortinet should do the same. We take pride in attracting world-class employees who want to be a part of our fresh approach to IT security, wherever they come from.
The recipe for our recruiting and hiring success isn’t a secret. If Fortinet wishes to retain their employees we suggest they stop resorting to courtroom and legal tactics they know are without merit, and instead consider what it is that makes Sophos such a desirable place to work.
I believe our success boils down to three things:
Compelling product vision. Everything we do is measured against our vision of “Complete security without complexity.” And that vision resonates in the market. We recognize that customers aren’t interested in a narrow product set that protects them from a limited number of threats. Sophos delivers powerful anti-malware, data encryption and secure gateway technologies across the entire range of networks, servers, PCs, Macs and mobile devices – and we do it in a simple, intuitive way that just works. Sales professionals like offering their partners and customers the complete protection that Sophos delivers.
Channel First. While many security vendors claim to be channel centric, reality is a different story. Many companies have an awkward mix of direct and channel sales, with the potential for conflict and frustration on both sides. At Sophos we put our channel partners at the center of everything we do; it’s literally part of our mission statement. Professionals with a desire to work in a channel centric sales model are attracted to Sophos, and we’re thrilled to welcome them.
Winning in the market. Executing against our vision has led to dramatic growth. In the past two quarters Sophos UTM billings grew 23% year over year, compared with overall UTM market growth of 18% (source: IDC, July 2013). During the same period, Fortinet reported 12% growth (source: Fortinet Q2 and Q3 financial results). It shouldn’t be a surprise that people want to work for a company like Sophos that is gaining share and making a difference in the market.
To our partners and customers, I assure you that Sophos will not let ill-conceived and meritless lawsuits stand in the way of delivering powerful IT security solutions. Lawsuits like this only confirm that our strategy is attracting the right talent to deliver the products that will keep our customers safe.
As we continue to execute on our strategy it is understandable that our competitors might feel threatened. And given our success, it should come as no surprise that we attract like-minded individuals who are also tired of the status quo.
If you think you have what it takes, I invite you to join our cause by applying here. We’re passionate about doing great work and making a difference for our customers and partners every day. If you feel the same way, we welcome you with open arms!
– Kris Hagerman, CEO, Sophos