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Quest and SonicWall Officially Exit Dell as Independent Businesses

Francisco Partners and Elliot Management Group, which purchased Dell’s software business unit in June, also appointed new CEOs to both companies. By Rich Freeman

Systems and security management vendor Quest Software Inc. and security solution maker SonicWall Inc. are both independent businesses once more, following the completion of their acquisition from Dell Technologies by private equity firm Francisco Partners and hedge fund operator Elliott Management Corp.

Dell bought both Quest and SonicWall, which was a silver medalist in this year’s ChannelPro Readers' Choice Awards, in 2012 and then sold them for a reported $2 billion in June. The sale was part of a larger re-structuring effort by Dell as it prepared for its then pending merger with EMC Corp. That transaction closed in September.

“We believe there is significant opportunity to create value for all stakeholders involved by operating Quest and SonicWall as two separate companies,” said Dipanjan Deb, Francisco Partners’ co-founder and CEO, in a press statement. “Both companies have very strong product portfolios and loyal customers, but operate in very different markets. As standalone businesses, Quest and SonicWall will have the resources, focus and independence required to drive the next stage of growth for each company.”

Francisco Partners and Elliott also announced the appointment of Bill Conner as CEO of SonicWall and Jeff Hawn as CEO of Quest today.

Conner is a 30-year IT industry veteran who most recently served as president and CEO of Silent Circle, a Swiss provider of encrypted communications solutions.

“SonicWall’s industry leading products, respected brand name, and channel relationships—combined with increasing adoption of advanced network security solutions—create an exciting opportunity to join the company,” Conner said in today’s press release. “I am very excited to be a part of SonicWall and, with the support of Francisco Partners and Elliott Management, we will continue to provide industry leading security solutions to our customers.”

SonicWall, in a separate press release of its own, emphasized channel enthusiasm for today’s news.

“SonicWall’s increased investment and commitment to channel partners is great news,” said Larry Cecchini, CEO of Secure Designs, a provider of SMB security solutions based in Greensboro, N.C. “SonicWall has long been a highly regarded brand—sophisticated in its technology and in particular an excellent vehicle for managed services businesses. We are expecting our partnership with SonicWall to go from strength to strength.”

Hawn comes to Quest following stints as chairman and CEO of Vertafore Inc., an Atlanta-based maker of software for the insurance industry, and CEO of identity and infrastructure management vendor Attachmate, which is now part of U.K.-based Micro Focus International plc.

“I am enthused to lead Quest into a new era and continue delivering the proven market-leading solutions that address the most critical IT pain-points,” said Hawn in the press release. “I look forward to working with the broader Quest team, Francisco Partners, and Elliott Management to drive product innovation and business growth for our loyal customers and partners.”

Without providing specifics, Quest stated in a third press release that it will be “expanding its routes to market across the business” by delivering solutions and services both itself and via channel resellers and system integrators.

“This will provide customers a choice to work either directly with Quest or with a trusted partner of their choosing,” the press release said.

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