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SonicWall Leadership Team

Meet the SonicWall leadership team

Bill Conner Headshot
Bill Conner
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bill Conner
President and Chief Executive Officer

With a career spanning more than 30 years across high-tech industries, Bill Conner is a corporate turnaround expert and global leader in security, data and infrastructure. Today, Conner is President and CEO of SonicWall, one of the world’s most trusted network security companies. 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. In less than one year under Conner’s leadership, SonicWall has surpassed financial and operational goals, delivering:

  • Record partner registrations of more than 18,000 global channel partners with 5,000 net new partners
  • Strong pipeline growth with over $330M in new partner deal registrations
  • Key service improvements with 80% reduction in wait times
  • Launching a new global marketing campaign
  • Record new product releases

In October 2017, Francisco Partners acquired Comodo Certification Authority (Comodo CA) and named Conner Chairman of the Board. The investment by Francisco Partners marks a transition in ownership from the Comodo organization. Comodo, founded in 1998, grew as Comodo CA became an industry leader in SSL security with more than 200,000 customers across 150 countries. Conner’s appointment by Francisco Partners will help support the company’s accelerated growth as it focuses attention on the CA business, and its significant market opportunity associated with SSL certificates and the massive growth in online and IoT traffic.

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:

  • SC Media’s 2017 Reboot Leadership Award Winner
  • One of the top 25 Most Influential Executives for 2017
  • Top Midmarket IT Vendor 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.

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Atul Dhablania Headshot
Atul Dhablania
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Atul Dhablania
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Atul Dhablania is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for SonicWall. Atul has over 25 years of experience in engineering and operations management. In the last 15 years at SonicWall, he has led teams in designing and developing security solutions as well as managing the worldwide operations. Prior to joining SonicWall, Mr. Dhablania held management and engineering positions at AMD, Fujitsu/HaL Computer Systems, Cyrix, National Semiconductor, and LSI Logic.

Mr. Dhablania has 11 patents and several publications in the field of Computer Architecture, Arithmetic, and Systems design. Mr. Dhablania holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Communications Engineering from Delhi University (Gold Medalist), a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University, and a MBA with Beta Gamma Sigma honors from California State University, East Bay.

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John Gmuender Headshot
John Gmuender
Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer
John Gmuender
Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer

John Gmuender has over 30 years of software and hardware engineering experience including 25 years of startup and corporate management. Mr. Gmuender is the visionary and technical leader behind SonicWall's Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RF-DPI) technology and SonicWall's Massively Scalable Multi-Core Security Architecture and Platform. At SonicWall, he has led the network security line through four successful product generations, enabling new business models for the company and the industry, including the cloud-delivered subscription services model. Mr. Gmuender came to SonicWall with the acquisition of SecureCom Networks, the startup he founded and led as CEO and VP of Engineering. Prior to SecureCom Networks, Mr. Gmuender led his engineering and networking consulting company, GUM, providing detailed engineering expertise in networking, security, software, and hardware, to many companies including JMA/Network Translation, the developer of the PIX firewall prior to its acquisition by Cisco in 1996. During his career, Mr. Gmuender has held management and engineering roles in the development of x86 and Sparc microprocessors at Cyrix and Fujitsu/HaL Computer Systems respectively, and began his career at IBM in the Communications Division. Mr. Gmuender has numerous patents and publications in both hardware and software, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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Ravi Chopra Headshot
Ravi Chopra
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Ravi Chopra
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Ravi Chopra is CFO of SonicWall, where he is responsible for SonicWall’s finance function including financial planning and analysis, accounting, tax, treasury, investor relations and corporate development. He joined SonicWall after 13 years at Juniper Networks where he held numerous financial leadership positions. Most recently, he served as Corporate Vice President of Business Finance, after other leadership roles in treasury, corporate development, and financial planning and analysis. Prior to his time at Juniper Networks, Chopra spent four years driving key finance initiatives at Cisco Systems. He began his career consulting at Deloitte and investment banking at Lazard. Mr. Chopra earned his MBA from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University and BA (Honors) in Economics from St. Stephens College, Delhi University. He also holds an Executive Leadership degree from Stanford.

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Steve Pataky Headshot
Steve Pataky
Senior Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer
Steve Pataky
Senior Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer

Steve Pataky is Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales for SonicWall where he leads the go-to-market strategies for SonicWall’s market-leading security solutions. Steve is a sales and partnering professional with over 25 years of experience and industry reputation for architecting and executing global sales, channel strategies, building world-class teams, innovative enterprise/commercial sales motions and comprehensive Field/Partner programs at scale to drive partner-fueled revenue growth. He has been recognized with CRN’s Channel Chiefs award for the last several years, including the 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Prior to SonicWall, Steve was Vice President, Worldwide Channels and Alliances for FireEye, an innovator in cyber security. There he built a worldwide partner ecosystem and partner-leveraged sales motions that contributed to FireEye’s explosive growth. Prior to FireEye, Steve held domestic and global channel sales and development roles with NetScreen, Juniper Networks, Vertical Networks and 3Com, where he spent two years in Asia-Pacific managing partner development and operations.

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Robert (Bob) VanKirk Headshot
Robert (Bob) VanKirk
Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
Robert (Bob) VanKirk
Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

Bob joined SonicWall in April of 2017 with the objective of driving customer and partner focus across the Corporate Marketing, Product Management and Product Marketing teams.  Key areas of focus include building SonicWall’s brand via global integrated marketing campaigns along with driving sales opportunities and increasing top line revenue via SonicWall’s marketing programs.  Key success factors include metrics and measurement along with the close teaming with Sales, Engineering, Service, and other key functions across SonicWall. To date, the team is driving record activity and results in PR, lead generation, industry awards and analyst briefings.   

Prior to joining SonicWall, Bob was Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing with Silent Circle, the leader in Enterprise Privacy. Key areas of focus included establishing sales processes, increasing customer retention, implementing Silent Circle’s partner / go to market strategy, and driving on-going customer engagement as the company experienced rapid growth within the enterprise segment. Prior to Silent Circle, Bob was SVP of Americas Sales and Service for Entrust. In his 14 years at Entrust, Bob drove regional sales, implemented Entrust's inside sales and SSL teams, and ran global marketing. From 2009 – 2015, Bob’s Americas team delivered YoY double-digit perpetual and subscription product growth, repeatedly leading the company and exceeding the market by more than 2x. 

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Keith Trottier Headshot
Keith Trottier
Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Success Officer
Keith Trottier
Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Success Officer

Keith Trottier has served as our Vice President of Client Services and IT Executive since November 2016. Prior to joining SonicWall, he worked at Silent Circle, Entrust, and Corel.

He has worked on many engagements including post-merger integration, budget administration, operations improvement and customer relationship management.

He has managed multi-million operating revenues with high success. Keith is a Services Leader with over 25 years’ experience in managing, delivering and supporting complex customer-focused technology solutions. He holds a degree in Database Development and Administration.

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Matt Neiderman Headshot
Matt Neiderman
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer
Matt Neiderman
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer
Matt joined SonicWall in October 2016 as Chief Legal and People Officer.  He has nearly 20 years of experience working at law firms and as counsel technology and security companies.  Matt led the Delaware corporate team for an AmLaw 100 law firm and represented companies around the world in corporate, commercial and IP related matters.  Matt has served as outside general counsel and HR advisor to financial services and security companies, and more recently has worked as inside General Counsel and head of HR for an enterprise mobile security company in Geneva, Switzerland before joining SonicWall.  Matt received his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law and his undergraduate degree in International Business from Utah Valley University.
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