Management Team

The Palo Alto Networks founders, management team, and board of directors have been key drivers of some of the most important network security companies and related technologies in the last 15+ years, including the invention of stateful inspection, hardware-based security, and intrusion prevention. The engineering team brings a proven track record in delivering high quality networking and security solutions at companies like Check Point, NetScreen, McAfee, Juniper Networks,
Cisco and many others.

Mark D. McLaughlin

Chairman and CEO

Mark D. McLaughlin joined as President and CEO of Palo Alto Networks in August of 2011 and became Chairman of the Board in 2012.

Before coming to Palo Alto Networks, Mark served as President and CEO of Verisign. Prior to that, he held a number of key positions at Verisign including serving as Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Products and Marketing, and head of the company's Naming Services business. Prior to Verisign, he was the Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Signio, a leading internet payment company. Before joining Signio, he was the Vice President of Business Development for Gemplus, the world's leading smart-card company. Previous to Gemplus, he also served as General Counsel of Caere Corporation and practiced law as an attorney with Cooley Godward Kronish LLP.

For nearly a decade, Mark has had the honor of serving as a member of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), a body that for more than 30 years has brought industry chief executives together to provide counsel on national security policy and technical issues to the U.S. President and national security leadership. Mark has served two-year terms as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the NSTAC. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law and his B.S. degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served as an attack helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army and earned his Airborne Wings. Mark currently serves on the board of directors for Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM).


Nir Zuk

Founder and CTO

Nir Zuk brings a wealth of network security expertise and industry experience to Palo Alto Networks. Prior to co-founding Palo Alto Networks, Nir was CTO at NetScreen Technologies, which was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2004. Prior to NetScreen, Nir was co-founder and CTO at OneSecure, a pioneer in intrusion prevention and detection appliances. Nir was also a principal engineer at Check Point Software Technologies, and was one of the developers of stateful inspection technology.


Rick Howard


Rick is the CSO for Palo Alto Networks where he is responsible for the company’s internal security program, the oversight of the Palo Alto Networks Threat Intelligence Team and the development of thought leadership for the cyber security community. His prior jobs include the CISO for TASC, the GM of iDefense and the SOC Director at Counterpane. He served in the U.S. Army for 23 years and spent the last 2 years of his career running the Army’s CERT. Rick holds a Master of Computer Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and an engineering degree from the U.S. Military Academy. He taught computer science at the Military Academy and contributed as an executive editor to two books: "Cyber Fraud: Tactics, Techniques and Procedures" and "Cyber Security Essentials."


Rajiv Batra


Rajiv Batra has extensive experience managing engineering teams through times of strong growth. Prior to Palo Alto Networks, he was the Vice President of Engineering at Peribit, which was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2005. While at Peribit, Rajiv assembled a strong engineering team developing best-in-class application acceleration platforms. Rajiv also co-founded VitalSigns Software and served as Vice President of Engineering at Bay Networks.


Steffan Tomlinson

Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Steffan Tomlinson brings deep financial and operational management experience to Palo Alto Networks and oversees the company's finance, accounting, IT, and manufacturing functions. Steffan served as Chief Financial Officer of Aruba Networks and was instrumental in both their Initial Public Offering and helping the company scale to facilitate growth. From 2000 to 2005, he was the first non-founder employee and, ultimately, Chief Financial Officer of Peribit Networks. He earned an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BA from Trinity College.


René Bonvanie

Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President

René Bonvanie has more than 25 years of executive management and marketing experience in enterprise technology. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Marketing, SaaS, and IT at Serena Software, and was Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP. Earlier, as CMO at Business Objects, René was responsible for all marketing activity, including corporate communications, field marketing, and product marketing. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at VERITAS Software Corporation. In his 10 years as Vice President of Product Marketing at Oracle Corporation, he managed the Oracle database product line, had editorial responsibility for Oracle Magazine and Profit Magazine, and co-founded Oracle's developer program, Oracle Technology Network.


Mark Anderson


As President, Mark is responsible for driving all sales, go-to-market, support, customer satisfaction, and business and corporate development. When he joined the company in 2012 and prior to becoming President in August 2016, Mark served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations. Prior to joining Palo Alto Networks, he was Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales at F5 Networks, where he oversaw all sales activities for the company, beginning in 2007.

Mark has also held sales leadership positions at Lucent Technologies, RadioFrame Networks, Cisco and Comdisco.

In June 2017, Mark joined the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley.

Mark holds a B.A. in Business and Economics from York University in Toronto.


Lee Klarich

Executive Vice President of Product Management

Since early product inception in 2006, Lee Klarich has served as the head of product management at Palo Alto Networks, overseeing the product strategy and roadmap. Prior to Palo Alto Networks, he was the director of product management for Juniper Networks, where he was responsible for firewall/VPN platforms and software. He joined Juniper Networks through the NetScreen Technologies acquisition, where he managed the same product line. Previously, he held various positions at Excite@Home and Packard Bell-NEC. He holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from Cornell University.


Wilson Xu

Executive Vice President of Engineering

Wilson joined Palo Alto Networks in 2006 as part of the company’s founding Engineering team. Currently, he heads our Engineering organization in the development of our next series of game-changing enterprise security offerings. Previously Wilson held various engineering and management roles at Juniper Networks, NetScreen Technologies and Network Associates, Inc. Wilson holds MS in Computer Science from Penn State University and a BE in Computer Science from Tsinghua University.


Brett Eldridge

Executive Vice President of Global Customer Services

Brett has more than 20 years of experience working in security and networking startups and managing customer-facing technical organizations. Prior to Palo Alto Networks, he was at Infoblox, where he was responsible for product management and marketing for three years, and managed systems engineering and professional services for two years. Before joining Infoblox, Brett was responsible for the enterprise systems engineering team at Juniper. He joined Juniper Networks through the NetScreen Technologies acquisition, and managed worldwide field engineering. Prior to NetScreen Technologies, he was a co-founder and vice-president of operations at OneSecure, and also held consulting positions at Hewlett Packard. Brett holds an MBA and BSEE from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California.


Chad Kinzelberg

Senior Vice President of Business and Corporate Development

Chad Kinzelberg has a strong track record in leadership roles at top-tier technology and venture capital firms. Prior to joining Palo Alto Networks, Chad served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of SSL at VeriSign, where he managed the company’s flagship security business. Chad also was a Partner at Scale Venture Partners, focusing on Internet and enterprise software companies. Chad has served in other general management roles as CEO of Santa Cruz Networks, and as Executive Vice President and General Manager at Corel. Before these roles, Chad led marketing for several software companies including Caere (now called Nuance) and Delrina (acquired by Symantec). He earned an MBA from Rice University and B.A. with Honors from Claremont McKenna College.


Dave Peranich

Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales

Dave joined Palo Alto Networks as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales in August 2016. In this role, he manages the field sales organization, which includes our WW Channels Team, Sales Operations, and the Sales Reps and Sales Engineers around the world.

Prior to joining Palo Alto Networks, he held several sales leadership roles over a nine-year tenure at Riverbed Technology, including senior vice president, Worldwide Sales; executive vice president, Worldwide Field Operations; and president, Worldwide Field Operations. His experience also includes leadership positions at Centrata, Siebel Systems, Remedy Corporation and Oracle, among others. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA and a Master of Science in Systems Management from University of Southern California.


Jeff True

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary

Jeff True has served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary at Palo Alto Networks since March of 2011, and brings a wealth of experience representing technology companies in Silicon Valley. He is responsible for all company legal functions and oversight, including corporate governance, intellectual property, commercial contracts, and litigation. From 2005 to 2010, Jeff was Vice President and General Counsel at 2Wire, where he was responsible for all legal matters, including the acquisition of the company by Pace, plc in October 2010. Prior to joining 2Wire, he served as Associate General Counsel at Informatica from 1998 to 2005, and was responsible for public company reporting and compliance, intellectual property, and commercial contracts. He received his B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA and his J.D. from Santa Clara University.


Wendy N. Barnes

Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Wendy brings over 15 years of experience in pre-IPO and Fortune 500 companies as an HR leader, advisor, and influencer. Wendy joined Palo Alto Networks in 2012 as Sr. Director and became SVP, HR in April 2014. She is responsible for leading and driving talent acquisition, culture and leadership development. Previously, Wendy was VP of HR at eHealth where she was responsible for leading the company’s facilities and human resources programs across all of its worldwide offices while headcount more than tripled in size during her tenure. Wendy has also held senior human resource leadership roles at Netflix and E*TRADE. Wendy began her HR leadership career at Applied Materials, working in various roles and business units. She received her B.S. degree in Business Management from Santa Clara University and has been quoted widely in publications, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today,, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Success for Women, Women on Business and Redbook Magazine, among others.