Leadership, Channel, Power players, MSSP, Security Operations

Check Point CEO Shwed Steps Down for Executive Chairman Role


Gil Shwed, Check Point’s only chief executive since the company’s inception 31 years ago, plans to step down after three decades of helming the Israel-based cybersecurity defender.

He will transition to the role of executive chairman, according to a report in Calcalist, an Israeli daily newspaper and website.

Shwed is largely regarded as the inventor of the modern firewall.

Check Point Performance and Partner Programs

The company’s announcement of Shwed’s changing role was timed to its disclosure of Q4 and annual results for 2023, in which it posted Q4 sales of $664 million for a 4% increase in the same period last year and $2.4 billion for the year, also a 4% bump from last year. The company’s valuation is roughly $20 billion.

Check Point employs some 6,700 people and operates within a partner-led business model. The company has recently launched a new program for managed security service providers (MSSPs).

Shwed called his retirement from the top spot the “perfect time” to step down. "For 27 years, roughly since Check Point went public, I've been asked why I’m remaining as the CEO of the company,” he said. “I was 24-years-old when we started the company, and now, especially after the last quarter, the timing is perfect because we are on a positive trend, the results are excellent, and I am very confident in the company's performance. We peaked on all levels, including the stock."

Check Point's Origins, Shwed's History

Shwed co-founded the Check Point in 1993 with Shlomo Kramer and Marius Nacht, who left the company as chairman of the board in 2020. Shwed was Check Point’s youngest founder and is now the longest-serving chief executive on Nasdaq.

He will depart the lead role when a successor is found, a process that could take six months to two years. “If we had the perfect candidate within the company we would have already announced it, but we want to also look at external candidates,” he said.

The Search for a Successor

Check Point is conducting a global search but would prefer that Shwed’s successor be in Israel, he said.

"I'm not seeking a clone of myself,” he said. “I'll continue to impart my values and support the CEO.” Check Point needs a chief executive “willing to engage externally. Experience in large organizations is crucial."

Shwed said that Check Point in the near term will look to boost its growth rates with a heightened concentration on sales and marketing.

“Of course, we could have grown more aggressively in marketing and sales,” he said. “Hopefully, in the next decade, we will demonstrate our ability to achieve much higher growth rates and not just be the technological gold standard.”

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.