OpenGear Appoints McAfee Vet as Newest CEO

Christopher Tozzi, Contributing Editor

July 18, 2011

2 Min Read
OpenGear Appoints McAfee Vet as Newest CEO

The chasm between the open source and closed source channels can sometimes be a wide one, but that hasn’t stopped Rick Stevenson, formerly employed by McAfee, from making the jump to become CEO of OpenGear. Here’s the scoop.

Stevenson will become the new CEO of OpenGear, which develops console and remote management solutions, succeeding Bob Waldie, who will become OpenGear’s executive chairman. Stevenson served previously as a VP of product development at SnapGear, which specialized in network security devices and was acquired by McAfee.

Stevenson’s move to OpenGear is only the latest of a flurry of activity for the company recently. It also brought on other new personnel, as outlined in its press release, and announced other major milestones this year, including 50 percent increase in sales growth for 2010. Most recently, the company began a new initiative for remote network training.

Between Two Channels

This most recent OpenGear news is notable in particular, however, because it represents a crossing of the open source-closed source divide. Although Stevenson’s role at SnapGear brought him into contact with Linux, McAfee has never been a major player in the open source channel.

In contrast, OpenGear’s mission — as one might guess, given the company’s name — is closely oriented around open source. Stevenson even stressed this aspect of the organization in comments on his move:

The team at Opengear has built successful companies before. It is an exciting time for me to join Opengear because of Opengear’s technological vision, their commitment to open source and, ultimately, their ability to control complex, distributed systems and networks.

Stevenson’s move from McAfee to OpenGear, then, highlights the exchanges that can exist between two worlds that tend generally to have little in common. It’s also a sign that going down the proprietary road, as Stevenson did when McAfee acquired SnapGear, does not mean it’s impossible to get back into the open source channel.

We’ll look forward to seeing where Stevenson takes OpenGear and what contributions the company might make to the open source ecosystem under his direction.

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About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.

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