Former VeriSign chief executive Mark McLaughlin, who resigned last week, is leaving the domain name industry entirely, signing up as the new CEO of Palo Alto Networks, a firewall vendor.
The privately held company is being tipped for an imminent IPO, which could mean a big stock payday for McLaughlin if executed successfully.
The Wall Street Journal quotes McLaughlin today as saying “the upside is on the equity side”.
Coming ahead of the launch ICANN’s top-level domains program, you could have been forgiven for thinking that McLaughlin may have been headhunted by a new gTLD player.
That would have been a heck of an endorsement of the commercial opportunity of new gTLDs, for the head of .com and .net to throw in with the newcomers.
But clearly McLaughlin has realized there’s more money in firewalls.
At VeriSign, founder Jim Bedzos has taken over as CEO while a permanent replacement for the 10-year VeriSign veteran is sought.