Get to Know

Alain Penel, Regional Vice President, Middle East, Fortinet

Alain Penel, Regional Vice President, Middle East, Fortinet

Alain Penel, Regional Vice President, Middle East, Fortinet

What first made you think of a career in technology?

I have a Masters degree in Business, but IT has always been a passion. I like the fast-paced nature of the industry, where each day brings new innovations and challenges. I see technology as a means to a better life for individuals and businesses, and it makes me proud to be associated with security, as it is in high demand today.

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

I prefer to be a coach than a micro- manager, and I encourage my team to become invested and empower them with responsibility wherever possible. I thoroughly enjoy discussing strategy and devising the direction we want to take, and then trust and support their efforts to achieve our goals.

What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2016?

I believe that mobility and IoT will continue to be hot topics in 2016. Both can offer wide and far-reaching benefits to individuals and businesses, but they also open up adopters to data breaches and malicious attacks. To counter these threats, security innovations such as Advanced Threat Protection will have to be deployed, which will make security an equally hot talking point for years to come.

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?

By nature, I don’t easily get stressed and on top of that, I really love what I’m doing! I usually unwind by indulging in sport; I run several times a week, and enjoy spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy travelling, as it exposes me to different cultures and experiences, both of which are invaluable in today’s fast-paced life.

If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?

Since I genuinely love what I’m doing here and now, I never really go back and think about things in hindsight. Whatever I have done has led me to where I am now, so I don’t think there’s anything I would change.

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

I joined Fortinet at a time when the management had goals of building the brand and taking it to new levels within the Middle East. When I joined two years ago, the company was ranked third in the market, and today we are the number one network security vendor, according to IDC’s latest figures for Q2 2015. My team has been extremely dedicated and worked very hard to reach the leadership position we enjoy today, and I’m glad that I’ve contributed towards this achievement. This year Fortinet also celebrates its 15th anniversary, so our current position is truly a memorable achievement for my team and I.