Former Gap tech exec chosen for Palo Alto Networks CIO job

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Palo Alto Networks has brought on board the technology veteran who helped guide Gap Inc. through the transition to software-defined networking. The security-focused networking vendor announced this week it hired Naveen Zutshi to take on the CIO mantle.

Zutshi has a history of working for large organizations. He joined Gap in 2010 as vice president of infrastructure and was promoted to senior vice president of technology last year. Prior to that, Zutshi had roles at Cisco and Walmart.

The appointment of Zutshi is an interesting one. Like other networking vendors, Palo Alto has been rolling out SDN products for some time, but hiring Zutshi could mean more focus on SDN initiatives both within the company and throughout its product lines.

It's also a time of some turmoil for Palo Alto Networks. As noted in a Wall Street Journal blog, the company filed its IPO three years ago, but recently experienced a greater fourth quarter revenue loss than expected. Cybersecurity threats are actually driving significant growth for Palo Alto, but the WSJ blog had a comment from Mark McLaughlin, CEO of Palo Alto Networks, in which he blamed "red ink" for the growth and loss.

It's unclear whether or not Zutshi joining the team will have significant impact on future quarters, but I'd guess it will mean a stronger focus on SDN-oriented security products.

For more:
- read the Wall Street Journal blog

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