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Palo Alto Networks’ CEO outlines his vision for cloud security, acquisitions and growth

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Following executive leadership roles at Google LLC and SoftBank, Nikesh Arora (pictured) joined Palo Alto Networks Inc. in 2018 as the firm’s chairman and CEO.

For nearly five years, he has guided the security provider’s strategic direction toward consistency for customers in a cloud-based world.

“You need consistency in data; you need consistency as you traverse through the enterprise,” Arora said. “The cloud guys are busy solving security for their cloud. Google is not doing anything about Amazon’s cloud or Microsoft Azure. Our job in providing cloud security is to be Switzerland, to make sure it works consistently across every cloud.”

Arora spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and Lisa Martin at Ignite ’22, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the company’s acquisition strategy and potential for future growth. (* Disclosure below.)

Creating incremental businesses

An element of Arora’s strategic approach has involved buying other businesses in the security space. Palo Alto Networks has spent over $3 billion to acquire a number of companies since Arora came on board in 2018, including Cider Security Ltd. last month.

“We had resources, we had the intellectual capability from a security perspective, and we had cash,” Arora said. “We used that to pay off our technical debt and acquired a bunch of companies. In the last four years, we’ve created these incremental businesses which are all on track to hit a billion dollars the next 12 to 18 months.”

Eighteen hundred of the top 2,000 organizations in the world are Palo Alto Networks customers, according to Arora. Yet, the firm operates in a fragmented industry where no one company controls a double-digit share of the enterprise security market. Predictions by some analysts that Arora’s firm is on track to double its revenue to $7 billion from three years ago could change that dynamic.

“We were the largest in revenue by a small margin, and we were 1.5% of the industry,” Arora said. “Now we are closer to 3 or 4%. As we keep doubling, at some point in time, I’d like to get to double digits.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Ignite ’22:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Ignite ’22. Neither Palo Alto Networks Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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