With a career spanning more than 30 years across high-tech industries, Bill Conner is a global leader among security, data and infrastructure executives. The corporate turn-around expert is President and CEO of network security company SonicWall. SonicWall next-generation firewalls and network security solutions protect more than 1 million networks worldwide, for more than 500,000 organizations in more than 150 countries. Conner was selected as CEO to launch SonicWall as an independent company from Dell, by Francisco Partners and Elliott Management in November 2016. Since then, SonicWall has surpassed financial and operational goals, delivering:
- Record partner registrations of more than 15,000 global channel partners with 4,000 net new partners
- Strong pipeline growth with over $250M in new partner deal registrations
- Key service improvements with 80% reduction in wait times
- Launching a new global marketing campaign
- Record new product releases
Conner has been the vanguard of transformational technology shifts, from leading key divisions of AT&T, to taking Nortel into data with a $9 billion acquisition of Bay Networks, to his work securing digital identities with Entrust, to bringing secure communications and privacy from the consumer to the enterprise through mobile and cloud with Silent Circle. He has re-engineered product lines, built world-class service organizations, re-aligned global sales organizations, and created industry-leading marketing campaigns.
As President and CEO of Silent Circle, Conner quickly re-positioned the consumer privacy company into a mobile Enterprise Privacy Platform (EPP) focused business. This included creating the category, re-engineering products and the global cloud delivery, and re-building sales, service and marketing functions. As President and CEO of Entrust, Conner re-engineered the technology-led company to be customer and market driven. Upon taking Entrust private in 2009 with the private equity firm Thoma Bravo, he reset corporate priorities to take advantage of SaaS and mobility. He successfully steered Entrust toward nearly a 100% subscription-based revenue model, while delivering organic growth rates in excess of two times the market rate. Contributing to the strong growth were record customer renewal rates exceeding 98%. In 2013, Entrust was purchased for 6.5 times the 2009 investment.
A staunch supporter of public-private cybersecurity partnerships, Conner regularly shares expertise with global leaders at major financial institutions, enterprises and governments. He also created and hosted “Hacked” for SiriusXM business radio. Conner has been recognized as:
- One of the top 25 Most Influential Executives for 2017
- Marketing Computers Marketer of the Year
- Tech Titans Corporate CEO of the Year
- Federal Computer’s Top 100 Award
- National Youth Science Camp Alumnus of the Year
Conner graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.