Nikesh Arora, the former chief business officer at Google, has been named CEO and chairman of Palo Alto Networks, replacing longtime exec Mark McLaughlin. McLaughlin will become vice chairman of the cybersecurity company.
After leaving Google in mid-2014, the high-profile exec became president of SoftBank and was heir apparent to its charismatic founder Masayoshi Son. But Arora left two years later amid some controversy.
Since then, the hard-charging exec has been a regular name on lists of possible CEOs for a number of different jobs, including at Uber, as well as at some private equity and investment firms.
Although he does not have a background in security, Arora said in an interview today that he was attracted to the job at Palo Alto Networks because it had all the elements that were critical to success today, especially in its platform approach in a fast-growing space.