Security

New chief speeds up Lookout Mobile’s security push to big businesses

Lookout Mobile co-founder John Hering, left, and incoming chief executive Jim Dolce.

Above: Lookout Mobile co-founder John Hering, left, and incoming chief executive Jim Dolce.

Image Credit: Lookout Mobile

Lookout Mobile has already made considerable progress in securing people’s smartphones and tablets, constantly checking for malware, phishing, and other threats.

And as the company looks toward penning more relationships with enterprises and mobile carriers, it’s bringing aboard a new chief executive who boasts deep experience working with such businesses.

Today, Jim Dolce is taking over the chief executive position from Lookout cofounder John Hering, who is becoming executive chairman. The move should be useful as the company moves toward a new phase of growth.

“I’d say the company is shifting into a new stage in its overall lifecycle,” Dolce said in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’re moving toward the growth stage in the company and looking to operationalize the company for substantial growth over the next couple of years.”

Investors and legacy tech vendors have been throwing money at other mobile-security companies such as AirWatch, Bluebox, ZenPrise. As for Lookout Mobile, it’s already developed a hefty base and relationships with mobile carriers like AT&T, Orange, and T-Mobile. But it needs to keep growing.

Hering told VentureBeat that he met Dolce through one of Lookout’s investors, Accel Partners’ Ping Li, while the company was looking for a chief operating executive. But then he realized Dolce could handle more responsibility. “At his caliber, he could have led any company,” Hering said.

Dolce has successfully led two startups to acquisitions by major infrastructure companies. He was chief executive of Unisphere, and he stuck around after Juniper Networks bought it in 2002. And he was the chief for Verivue for six years before selling the company to Akamai in 2012. Now he has left Akamai, and he’s excited about the intersection of four trends: security, mobile, cloud, and big data.

“Of those four themes … the only one that existed 10 years ago was security,” he said.

Now, as Dolce explains it, Lookout stands out. Its big data stems from the 50 million sensors — think mobile devices — that Lookout uses to collect information about potential threats. Lookout pushes it all up to — guess what? — a cloud and analyzes it. It then provides security to the mobile devices it’s charged with protecting based on what it finds inside thousands of applications and what it hears from the networks it works with.

While some of those pieces might be new to Dolce, he could be especially useful for Lookout as the company looks to work more closely with enterprises, as well as mobile carriers, which don’t want to end up getting a reputation for permitting malware to flow over their networks. Dolce cultivated relationships with carriers while at Akamai and Juniper.

“Juniper is selling security appliances to enterprise customers through a two-tiered distribution channel,” Dolce said, referring to distributors and value-added resellers. “It’s very relevant to where Lookout is going today as it takes its security technology into the post-PC era addressing mobile and using big data to do so.”

The company announced a $55 million round of funding in October.