Albert Kuo, Blue Coat's general manager and vice president of field operations for Asia Pacific
Albert Kuo, a former HP executive, is only three months old at Blue Coat, a Web security and WAN optimisation specialist company. But this University of Columbia at Berkeley engineer has big plans for the company's operations and future in Asia Pacific.
"We want to grow the fastest in the APAC region," said Kuo, an American who has lived in Asia for more than one and a half decades. He was appointed Blue Coat's general manager and vice president of field operations for Asia Pacific barely eight weeks ago. The company's Asia operations started in 2003 only.
"We are focusing our efforts on this region," he said, sharing his vision on how Blue Coat is directly positioned to effectively solve the security and network performance challenges in today's corporate environment and the instrumental role that he will play to drive the next wave of growth at Blue Coat.
In his new role, Kuo is responsible for all aspects of setting, managing and executing sales and channel strategy to accelerate the deployment of Blue Coat solutions throughout the region. He has an MBA from Columbia and has worked at HP, Arcsight, BEA Systems, TIBCO and Reuters.
The company had suffered last year under former CEO Michael Borman as the numbers were not very well-stock price declined steadily from January 2011 from US$32 through August that year, bottoming out at just over US$12. Borman was replaced by Gregory Clark in August 2011.
On 9 December 2011, Blue Coat was acquired by a private equity fund Thoma Cressey Bravo for US$1.3 billion. Post-acquisition, Blue Coat's shares climbed up to about US$18 and above. Under the new CEO Greg Clark, the company has done steadily well.
Providing his perspective on the company's recent past, Kuo said that the company went into a slide because demand was overestimated, headcount was excessive and there was only a scattered focus on products (the company has 185 patents issued and pending).
The signs of a new growth strategy became visible when David Murphy was appointed as president and COO of Blue Coat in March 2012. After being hired, Kuo said, he met all the leaders of the company at the Silicon Valley headquarters and is all fired up to take the company forward in this region.
To shore up the company in the Asia Pacific region, Kuo has already met the top customers and has taken their feedback. To come closer to his customers, he said he is proactively engaging them, sometimes sharing the hidden benefits of the Blue Coat products that they already might be using. He is urging the staff to be nimble and proactive and to remember that they are not working in a 'government company'.
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