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Prakash Panjwani
Prakash Panjwani

WatchGuard Technologies, a Seattle-based business security company, announced today that it hired Prakash Panjwani to serve as its new chief executive officer. Panjwani was most recently the CEO of SafeNet, an information security company based in Maryland that’s one of the largest providers of encryption technology to the U.S. government.

He’ll be taking over the reins of the company from Mike Kohlsdorf, an operating partner at Francisco Ventures who served as WatchGuard’s interim CEO. The hire has been a long time coming – former WatchGuard CEO Joe Wang stepped down from his role at the company in May 2014, and Kohlsdorf has been in charge since then.

Panjwani’s move to Seattle comes almost four months after SafeNet was acquired by Gemalto for $890 million – one of the largest deals in the information security space to date.

“Prakash helped SafeNet grow from a small start-up to one of the industry’s leading data security companies,” Kohlsdorf said in a press release. “His keen understanding of the security space, combined with his leadership expertise will help ensure WatchGuard continues to deliver powerful security solutions to organizations around the world.”

Both Panjwani and Kohlsdorf will join WatchGuard’s board of directors, as well. The company, which was originally started in 1996, was purchased by Francisco Ventures for $151 million in 2006.

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