Privileged Access Management , Security Operations

CyberArk Promotes COO Matt Cohen to Replace CEO Udi Mokady

CEO Change Marks First Time Since 2005 Someone Other Than Udi Mokady Is in Charge
CyberArk Promotes COO Matt Cohen to Replace CEO Udi Mokady
Matt Cohen, chief operating officer, CyberArk (Image: CyberArk)

For the first time in more than 17 years, privileged access management vendor CyberArk will have a new leader.

See Also: eBook: Developing a Comprehensive PAM Security Strategy

The Boston-area company will promote Chief Operating Officer Matt Cohen, 47, to the CEO position April 3. Cohen, who is credited with optimizing CyberArk's go-to-market organization and leading its transition to a subscription business model, will replace Udi Mokady, 54, who co-founded CyberArk in April 1999 and has served as its CEO since November 2005. Mokady will remain executive chair of the company's board.

"Is it the honor of a lifetime to be named the next CEO of CyberArk."
– Matt Cohen, chief operating officer, CyberArk

"It is the honor of a lifetime to be named the next CEO of CyberArk," Cohen tells investors Thursday morning. "Udi has been a mentor and become a dear friend over the last three years. He is a special leader with genuine empathy, immeasurable energy and a deep passion for our mission, our culture and our people. I am looking so forward to working with him to scale CyberArk and drive profitable growth."

CyberArk's stock was up $3.77 - or 2.53% - to $153 per share in premarket trading Thursday, which is the highest the company's stock has traded since Dec. 1. The company also announced sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31 jumped 11.8% to $169.2 million, missing Seeking Alpha's estimate of $174.1 million. Non-GAAP net income fell 39.2% to $7.2 million, or $0.16 per share, beat Seeking Alpha's $0.12 per share estimate (see: CyberArk Execs: 9 Bets on What's Next in Identity Security).

'I Can't Imagine a Better Person to Be the Next CEO'

Cohen joined CyberArk in November 2019 as chief revenue officer and was promoted to COO in November 2020. In that role, he executed the company's worldwide sales strategy and led CyberArk's go-to-market organization. Prior to CyberArk, Cohen spent 18 years at PTC, where he played an instrumental role in helping the product management software provider transition to a subscription model.

"Matt is an incredible leader, and I can't imagine a better person to be the next CEO of CyberArk," Mokady tells investors Thursday. "Since joining the company, he added tremendous value and has been instrumental to our success. He spearheaded the subscription transition, transformed our go-to-market engine, and has inspired people across the organization to deliver well ahead of expectations."

Mokady received $12.4 million in compensation from CyberArk for the 2021 calendar year, while Cohen received $4.9 million in compensation during the same time period, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. CyberArk hasn't disclosed how Mokady's and Cohen's compensations will change in their new roles.

"As executive chair, I'll stay very active," Mokady says. "I will focus on shaping our future by aligning our long-term strategy to our mission, preserving CyberArk's unique culture and brand, and fostering relationships with key customers and partners. It's very important to me that we get this right and that we have a smooth transition - continuity of leadership - and that we don't skip a beat in our execution."

'CyberArk Has Been the 800-Pound Gorilla for a Long Time'

Cohen will take over after CyberArk's 2022 revenue soared to $591.7 million, up 17.7% from $502.9 million a year earlier. But the company's annual net loss worsened to $130.4 million, or $3.21 per diluted share - 55.3% worse than a net loss of $83.9 million, or $2.12 per share - in 2021.

For the quarter ending March 31, CyberArk expects a net loss of $0.30 to $0.23 per basic and diluted share on sales of between $160 million and $164 million. Analysts had been expecting a net loss of $0.11 per share on sales of $163.8 million, according to Seeking Alpha.

Mokady told Information Security Media Group in July that CyberArk is looking beyond privileged access management to take on new challenges presented by the rise of machine identities. CyberArk plans to offer holistic protection to user and nonuser identities by expanding into adjacent fields such as workforce and customer access, secrets management, cloud privilege security and identity management, he said.

Also in July, the Gartner Magic Quadrant recognized CyberArk for having the most complete vision and strongest execution ability around privileged access management. But Gartner said competitors such as Delinea and One Identity are catching up thanks to acquisitions they've made since the start of 2021 (see: CyberArk, Delinea, One Identity Top Gartner MQ for PAM).

"CyberArk has been the 800-pound gorilla for a long time. They've been the king of the hill," Gartner Magic Quadrant author Michael Kelley told ISMG in July. "They still remain the leader, but I think lots of companies are doing a lot of investment and catching up a little bit on feature and functionality."

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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