The upcoming departure of Check Point Co-Founder Gil Shwed after more than three decades as CEO is getting a mixed reception from Wall Street analysts.
Shwed played a chief role in bringing the modern firewall into existence and, in 1993, co-founded Check Point Software Technologies.
On Tuesday, Shwed disclosed that he plans to step down when a successor is found, which could take several months. Shwed plans to stay involved by moving into an executive chairman position.
“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,” Shwed said during the call, according to a report. “We peaked on all levels, including the stock.”
In a note to investors Tuesday, Shaul Eyal, managing director for equity research at investment bank TD Cowen, wrote that “we believe that a future incoming sales-driven CEO would be viewed favorably.”
However, Daniel Ives, managing director and senior equity research analyst at Wedbush Securities, expressed reservations about the move.
“We view [the transition] as a net negative as Shwed played a key role in building Check Point for 30+ years,” Ives wrote in a note to investors Wednesday. “Shwed is an absolute legend and is the Godfather of the cyber security and broader tech landscape and his experience and role he played is now in the history books.”
Still, “we expect a smooth transition with no material impact to company operations,” Ives wrote.
Last week, Jonathan Ho, research analyst at William Blair, wrote in a note to investors that Check Point has major growth opportunities ahead but has not been appreciated by investors to the same degree as cybersecurity rivals such as Palo Alto Networks.