Qualys Leadership Update: Moving Forward Together

Sumedh Thakar

Today, we announced that Philippe Courtot has resigned from his CEO role. As you may know, Philippe took a leave of absence due to health issues unrelated to COVID-19 last month. Our thoughts are with Philippe and his family as he continues to focus on improving his health.

Over the past 20 years, Philippe has led Qualys through a remarkable journey and built the company into one of the leading providers of cloud-based information security and compliance solutions. We wouldn’t be where we are today without his driving force and vision. It has been my utmost privilege and honor to work alongside him and learn so much under his mentorship. To commemorate his retirement, I want to provide some color and context about how Qualys has evolved under Philippe and demonstrate how his customer-centric vision is rooted in everything we do.


Philippe originally invested in Qualys in 1999 when the company was founded, and he then became CEO in March 2001. Philippe was a firm believer in cloud technology for cybersecurity and at that time had to overcome a lot of resistance from industry leaders and investors who were retreating from internet businesses en masse due to the dot.com bubble burst. From the very start, Philippe brought a unique vision to the company – to build a cloud delivery platform that would allow for the scanning of any network globally. He then set about creating it. As the company continued to innovate and customer adoption of the platform grew, in 2012, he led the effort to take the company public as a subscription-based cloud service that enabled organizations to identify security risks and help protect them from cyberattacks. Under his leadership, the company grew into a well-run, profitable enterprise valued by investors.

Continuous Innovation

Today the Qualys Cloud Platform has expanded significantly, covering on-prem systems, cloud, containers and endpoints. The platform provides customers with a continuous, always-on assessment of their IT, security and compliance posture, scaling across all their global IT assets and processes with over eight trillion data points indexed on Elasticsearch clusters.

Philippe and I have worked together for many years to deliver end-to-end security solutions that leverage the power of the Qualys Cloud Platform and help organizations of all sizes to strengthen their security postures. This includes the rollout of the game-changing Qualys VMDR (Vulnerability Management, Detection and Response) to continually detect and prevent risk to their systems, Qualys Multi-Vector EDR, which focuses on protecting endpoints, and the upcoming XDR, a next-gen Security Analytics and Incident Response solution that natively integrates and correlates security telemetry across the security stack for an end-to-end platform that aligns to Philippe’s vision.

Customer-First Approach

Philippe ingrained a customer-first approach throughout Qualys. It’s a lesson he learned early in his career when he was doing sales calls with customers and learning how they used products, along with their issues and needs. As quoted in a 2019 Investor’s Business Daily article, Philippe said, “Too many companies become centric on to themselves and forget about their customers. If you create a culture where people think what’s in it for the customer rather than what’s in it for you, if you keep that as your rudder you can create a sustainable business model.”

Looking Ahead

I feel blessed to have the opportunity to lead Qualys as interim Chief Executive Officer. I have spent nearly 20 years at Qualys in various roles and have a great appreciation for the company and the tremendous platform we have built. As Chief Product Officer, I worked with our engineering team to lead the innovation and expansion of our platform from Vulnerability Management into broader areas of security and compliance, helping our customers consolidate their security stack. At Qualys, we will continue our culture of innovation and always place our customers first.

I want to thank Philippe, our employees, customers, board and investors for their support and assure them that Qualys will not miss a beat as we work together to further build on the strong momentum in our business and drive the company forward.

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