Resilient Network Systems, a San Francisco-based cloud security firm, announced today Richard Spires, former chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security, will take over as the company’s CEO.
Spires stepped down from his position at DHS in May, after being placed on administrative leave. Spires has refused to speak publicly about the reasons behind being placed on leave and his final decision to depart government, but sources familiar with the situation have speculated privately that Spires and senior DHS leaders had a falling out over the role and responsibilities of the agency’s CIO office.
The company said in a statement current CEO Bill Coleman will stay active with the company and remain on the board of directors.
“I could not be more excited to have Richard Spires agree to step in to take the company forward,” Coleman said in a statement. “He understands exactly how our neutral platform and ecosystem of partners can solve many of the thorniest problems in the public and private sectors.”
Jonathan Hare, Resilient’s founder and executive chairman, said Spires’ experience at both DHS and the Internal Revenue Service, where he served as CIO from 2006 to 2007, “uniquely qualifies him to understand the challenges of delivering robust security and privacy while sharing highly sensitive data across disparate organizations and people on a national scale.”
As the CIO at the DHS and co-chair of the CIO Council, Spires was considered one of the most influential leaders in the federal technology community until his departure from government. He is widely credited for instituting a rigorous review process of the DHS IT portfolio, with more than 90 in-depth reviews of large IT programs. Spires is also credited with making DHS a leader in the government’s cloud-first policy.
“He recognized early on that the Trust Network is a breakthrough innovation needed to solve the crisis of trust in the Internet, with implications across all parts of society,” Hare said. “We are excited that, after working with us closely over the last six months, he has agreed to join us as CEO and accelerate our progress toward realizing that vision.”