Sunday, 4 November 2007

7 Stages of Security Man - Part 5 - Management

I had craved a management position for some time, and getting it was somewhat of a coup for me. I was very quickly fast-tracked through an organisation where there were engineers with higher qualifications than I, but none with the breadth of experience, which was what was needed.

The security distributor I was employed by was being acquired by a much larger IT distributor, and the bigger we looked from the outside during due diligence, the better. I was made very high profile in a very short time. I wish I had started blogging then in hindsight, I had access to some of the best security engineers in the country, sales guys in every large SI, reseller and corporate in the UK worth talking about and all of them wanted to talk to me about security. In short, I had my finger on the pulse, and could even influence where security was going in specific and general terms. I loved it, and then we were acquired.

Acquisition is uncomfortable at the best of times. When you are a newly incumbent manager of people with more history in a company than you, it quickly becomes painful. When the overall manager who has employed you leaves, and then the MD, it becomes impossible to stay. I was offered a new position as a Product Manager in the newly formed company. It would have been easy, saying 'I think we should keep this and lose this' sucking up to vendors and resellers, etc. Real security easy-street, but it was not for me. I was losing the buy in of the engineers rapidly as more and more people left, and the new company wanted to use me as a figurehead which I was not prepared to be, it would have just pissed off too many people.

Luckily for me then, I was offered a job as a Product Manager in Barcelona at the same time. The choice was relatively simple, but with wide ranging implications for a newly married and settled man.

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