EXCLUSIVE: Sophos APAC director steps down

Takes on non-executive directorial role

Former Sophos Asia-Pacific director, Rob Forsyth, has stepped down from his position to take on a non-executive role within the company.

Stuart Fisher, who held the position of Sophos Asia-Pacific regional vice-president, has filled in the directorial role.

Fisher is based in the company’s Singapore office, and will particularly oversee operations in India, Greater China and the ASEAN region.

Recently appointed Sophos A/NZ general manager, Ashley Wearne, will overlook the Australian operations.

“We’ve moved the focus to that region in recognition of where the fast growth markets are. The Australian market will still bring in revenue, but it is a much more mature market than the North Asian and Indian markets,” Forsyth said.

Wearne reports directly to Fisher, while Fisher reports to Sophos worldwide sales and field operations senior vice-president, Michael McGuinness.

Forsyth told ARN he made the move in preparation for his upcoming retirement.

“I’m in my 50s now, I’ve loved every aspect of my career I have been involved in, so I believe there was a necessity to look for a transitional period rather than come to a hard retirement sometime in the future,” he said.

According to Forsyth, functioning in a non-executive role will enable him to work within the industry in a slightly different capacity.

His role will involve supporting the company’s regional operations, and has been collaborating with countries such as India and Singapore to develop legislations in dealing with issues such as spam in developing countries.

“Although I have now left Sophos, what I am doing is continuing as a non-executive, assisting Sophos over the coming years to continue its growth,” he said.

Over the last few months, Forsyth has also joined a number of governmental and non-governmental committees, where he will be looking into issues within the IT industry, such as Cloud computing and identity in cyberspace.

“Two weeks ago, I was elected the chairman of crime stoppers for NSW. I will be working closely with the police to look at cyber-crime reporting and trying to bring new age cyber-crime issues to traditional policing.”

He also claimed he will now pick up on his interest of recycling second hand timber into furniture, and spend more time with his grandchildren in his Hunter Valley property.

“But more than half my time will be devoted to IT security on these committees and taskforces. I still believe that over the coming few years, there will be big transitions for our society, and security and privacy have to be two of the elements we consider with those,” Forsyth added.

He has served Sophos for 11 years, from September 2001. Forsyth was appointed to the role of A/NZ director of sales and human resources, which he held for four years.

Soon after, he was promoted to the then newly created Asia-Pacific directorial role when Spohos embarked on an expansion program in Asia.

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