Two senior Network Associates International (NAI) executives have jumped ship amid rumours they plan to form a Web portal outfit.
Former APAC vice president of sales Dean Mansfield and director of engineering Dean Stockwell handed in their resignations within two weeks of each other, but according to company officials the departures are purely coincidental.
"Both have left in the last couple of weeks for their own personal reasons," said Network Associates financial controller Zubi Khawaja.
"Dean Stockwell has been with the company for more than five years and he was ready for new challenges. It is a sad loss - apart from being popular members of staff, they are also very talented."
Mansfield was recently promoted to executive management in NAI's European office.
Khawaja told ARN Mansfield decided to leave to spend more time with his family.
"Although the position is based in Sydney, it involves extensive travel," he said.
Both Stockwell and Mansfield are yet to take up alternative appointments within the industry, but rumours are rife about their next venture. Industry buzz has it the two will team up with former Asia Pacific director James LaLonde to launch a Web portal for the Asia Pacific region called Plumtree. LaLonde left NAI in late November to pursue his interests in venture capital.
Network Associates has already begun the search for replacements. In the interim, Mansfield's position will be filled by a US executive.
The company will consider hiring an outside candidate or promoting from within its ranks. Stockwell's position could stay vacant until January or February because of the technical nature of the role.
NAI is looking at hiring around 10 to 20 more staff within the next three months, with Johnny Jones taking on the role of Australian sales manager from January.