Bill Conner has dedicated his entire career to technology and cybersecurity. It’s a mission that is rightfully acknowledged — not only via customer confidence, partner growth and upward revenue, but also industry accolades.

A new addition to SonicWall’s achievements the past year, Conner is the newest recipient of the inaugural SC Media Reboot Leadership Award. He is one of only six other elite executives honored in the publication’s top management category.

“Cybersecurity is more than technology. It’s an organic and ongoing collaboration that requires tools, skill and awareness at all levels,” said Conner. “This award is a byproduct of the dedication, support and trust in our global teams, partners, distributors and end customers. This is just the beginning of SonicWall’s renewed, aggressive and focused approach to keep customers and business safe from both known and unknown cyber threats.”

The SC Media Reboot Leadership Awards 2017 are an extension of SC Media’s Reboot edition. They are the first in what will be an ongoing awards program that enables SC Media to honor executives and professional leaders for their unique, inventive and inspiring contributions that improve security, shape the industry, provide thought leadership and otherwise have a positive impact on cybersecurity.

Logo for SC Media Reboot Leadership Award for Bill Conner

The SC Media Reboot Leadership honorees were selected based on how they changed the practice or understanding of cybersecurity for the better. The awards were organized in nine different categories, including influencers, thought leaders, top management, threat seekers, chief information officers, chief privacy officers, outstanding freshmen, outstanding educator and rising stars.

Joining SonicWall in November 2016, Conner has helped galvanize the company via new products and services, commitment to partner channels and increased global awareness.

In June, SonicWall announced the company surpassed 3 million firewalls sold and achieved 50 percent growth in partner deal registrations, reflecting more than $250 million in new pipeline. SonicWall collected 19 industry awards for its strategy, portfolio and leadership since becoming an independent company in November 2016 and Conner was announced CEO.

“Bill has been a tireless advocate for addressing cybersecurity threats through countless engagements with Capitol Hill, the media, and in the private sector when counseling the nation’s business leaders,” Michael Chertoff, Chairman of the Chertoff Group and the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security told SC Magazine.

In early August, CRN recognized SonicWall’s momentum and named Conner one of the top-25 most influential executives of 2017.

“The top executive has had partners cheering, as the now stand-alone network security vendor launched its new partner-focused strategy and key new technologies — like Capture Advanced Threat Protection — to bring enterprise-grade security solutions to SMB partners and customers,” CRN noted in the award profile.

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Robert (Bob) VanKirk
Chief Marketing Officer | SonicWall
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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